Apollo Aviation Group agrees to be acquired by the Carlyle Group; NAC acquires new investor; This week, John Leahy to interview ALC’s John Plueger at Airline Economics Growth Frontiers New York

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed October 15, 2018 18:05

Apollo Aviation Group agrees to be acquired by the Carlyle Group; NAC acquires new investor; This week, John Leahy to interview ALC’s John Plueger at Airline Economics Growth Frontiers New York

Apollo Aviation Group has entered into an agreement to be acquired by The Carlyle Group (Carlyle). The transaction is expected to close no later than January 31, 2019, subject to customary conditions, after which Apollo Aviation will become Carlyle Aviation Partners (Carlyle Aviation).

Since its founding in 2002, Bill Hoffman and Robert Korn have developed Apollo Aviation into a leading institutional investment manager focused on the aviation industry, with current assets under management of $5.6 billion1 and 243 aircraft owned, managed or committed to purchase.

Bill Hoffman, Apollo Aviation’s Chairman, commented, “Having carefully built Apollo Aviation from the beginning, one of the most important considerations for Robert and me was the cultural fit of the two organizations. In our meetings with Carlyle’s founders, Co-CEOs and other senior executives, we saw clearly that their view to invest wisely and create value on behalf of their investors was very much in line with our own views. Their honesty, integrity and clear sense of purpose that ‘we work for our investors’ helped us to decide that this was the right home for Apollo Aviation.”

Bill Hoffman and Robert Korn will lead Carlyle Aviation, which will operate within Carlyle’s Global Credit Segment.

Mark Jenkins, Head of Carlyle’s Global Credit Segment, said, “Apollo Aviation’s expertise in managing and investing in aviation assets and use of long-term structures allows it to invest well through economic cycles. We are excited to welcome the highly accomplished Apollo Aviation management team, which is a proven force in the growing commercial aviation finance market.”

Robert Korn, Apollo Aviation’s President, shared, “As part of The Carlyle Group, we will continue to access a broad range of aviation investment opportunities, and grow our position in the aircraft leasing and finance sector.” He added, “Over the next 20 years, the world’s commercial aircraft fleet is expected to double in size to approximately 40,000 aircraft and new aircraft deliveries alone will be valued at more than $6 trillion. For institutional investors worldwide, this is an attractive asset class that will be a growing part of any diversified portfolio.”

Apollo Aviation was advised by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and Goldman Sachs.

Meanwhile, Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), Martin Møller and EQT VI have announced that GIC, a long-term global investor with significant aircraft leasing experience, is to become a significant minority investor in NAC. The transaction will be executed by an affiliate of GIC.

Since the partnership in 2015 between Martin Møller and EQT VI, NAC has transformed from being a lessor focused on turboprop aircraft into the world’s largest regional aircraft lessor, and the fourth largest commercial aircraft leasing company by investing more than $4.5 billion in the business. During that period, NAC has more than doubled its operating lease income and added more than 30 new customers. Today, the company has a fleet of 468 regional aircraft, a total asset base of USD 8.0 billion and is uniquely positioned to take further advantage of the market opportunities in the attractive regional aircraft space.

“It is nearly three years since we partnered with EQT VI to support our growth strategy. Together, we continued our profitable growth and benefitted from the partnership’s global perspective, experience and financial strength. GIC brings further financial strength and commercial capabilities that will allow us to take advantage of expansion opportunities as they arise,” said Martin Møller, founder and Chairman of NAC.

“We have delivered on our key strategic objectives, broadened our product offering and expanded NAC’s operations significantly over the last years. Bringing in a new investor is a step further on the journey of consolidating NAC’s position as the world’s leading and preferred regional lessor of choice for our customers, OEMs, capital market investors and our dedicated employees. Partnering with GIC will further strengthen our Company’s commercial and financial position,” Søren Overgaard, CEO of NAC elaborated.

“EQT VI is excited to welcome GIC as a long-term investor and a strategic partner given their significant aviation leasing experience. With the investment from GIC, NAC will be able to further enhance its growth journey by cementing its market position as the world’s largest regional aircraft lessor,” said Morten Hummelmose, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT VI.

“NAC has a strong track record of growth and market leadership in a segment with secular growth drivers. As a long-term investor, we look forward to partnering with Martin Møller and EQT and supporting the future growth of the company,” said Choo Yong Cheen, Chief Investment Officer of Private Equity at GIC.

KIRKBI Invest A/S, an investor in EQT VI, will continue to co-invest in NAC alongside EQT VI.
Air Lease Corporation CEO John Plueger to be interviewed by John Leahy at Airline Economics Growth Frontiers NY

Air Lease Corporation Chief Executive Officer and President, John L. Plueger, will be interviewed by Mr. John Leahy, retired Chief Operating Officer – Customers – Airbus Commercial Aircraft, at Airline Economics Growth Frontiers New York 2018.

The interview will take place at 10:15am ET on Thursday, October 18th at The 3 West Club in New York City. For further details, please visit the Airline Economics Growth Frontiers New York 2018 conference website at http://www.aviationnews-online.com/conferences/newyork/.

The interview will be broadcast live through a link on the Investors page of the Air Lease Corporation website at www.airleasecorp.com. Please visit the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed October 15, 2018 18:05