ALC closes Thunderbolt III

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood November 12, 2019 11:23

ALC closes Thunderbolt III

Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has closed Thunderbolt III Aircraft Lease (Thunderbolt III) asset-backed securitisation transaction with the sale of 19 aircraft into the newly formed entity.  The aircraft comprise a mix of narrowbody and widebody jet aircraft that, as of August 31, 2019, had a weighted average age of 9.7 years and were leased to 18 lessees based in 15 countries.  

ALC and its Irish affiliate, ALC Aircraft Limited, will act as servicers with respect to the aircraft and ALC will act as portfolio manager.  ALC estimates that the process of transfer and sale of the majority of aircraft will occur progressively during Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.

The Thunderbolt III structure included two series of fixed rate notes and equity certificates. Approximately 15.6865% of the equity certificates were purchased by the anchor investor which is an investment vehicle managed by ITE Management and approximately 5% of the equity certificates were purchased by ALC.

“We are pleased to announce the closing of Thunderbolt III. This transaction allows ALC to efficiently sell 19 aircraft while retaining the customer relationships through our continued management of these aircraft.  I would like to thank our team and the Thunderbolt III investors for making this a successful transaction,” said Gregory B. Willis, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of ALC.

Mizuho Securities acted as global coordinator, while Mizuho, BofA Securities and Goldman Sachs acted as joint lead structuring agents and joint lead bookrunners. Wells Fargo Securities acted as joint lead bookrunner, and BNP Paribas, Citigroup, JPMorgan, MUFG, RBC Capital Markets, Société Générale  and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey acted as passive bookrunners (for the notes) and co-managers (for the equity certificates).

Hughes Hubbard & Reed acted as US counsel to ALC and the issuers, and Milbank acted as US counsel to the global coordinator, the joint lead structuring agents and the joint lead bookrunners.  EY acted as US and Irish tax advisors. Walkers acted as Cayman Islands counsel and A&L Goodbody acted as Irish counsel.  Vedder Price acted as counsel for ITE.

Canyon Financial Services will act as the managing agent for the Issuers. Citi will act as trustee, security trustee, paying agent and operating bank.  Wells Fargo Bank will also act as the liquidity facility provider.  DealVector will provide certain investor services for the holders of the notes and equity certificates.

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood November 12, 2019 11:23