AWAS term loan over-subscribed with 39 new investors

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AWAS closed today a $360 million secured term loan, which was over-subscribed and attracted new investors to the lessor.

"The new loan was over-subscribed by 63 institutional investors, including 39 that were new to AWAS," says the lessor in a statement today.

Proceeds from AWAS' six-year term loan will refinance existing debt and fund growth plans.

AWAS says it will refinance nine aircraft with the loan proceeds. The aircraft were previously funded by a $500 million warehouse facility, which AWAS closed in June 2011 and was arranged by JP Morgan. The lessor says the move will restore "full capacity" to the remaining draw period until December 2013.

In addition, AWAS indicates the loan proceeds will finance four new aircraft that will deliver in the "later part of the year."

"This term loan gives AWAS incremental flexibility to fund aircraft acquisitions," says Simon Glass, chief financial officer, AWAS. "Our approach has been to proactively add resources so financing is available to us before we need it. With new borrowing capacity from our JP Morgan warehouse and the $120m PDP facility recently closed, as well as significant liquidity provided by our supportive shareholders, we will be able to meet a significant portion of our next year's capex."

Joint-lead arrangers include: Goldman Sachs, RBC Capital Markets and Morgan Stanley. Co-managers are Wells Fargo and Crédit Agricole CIB.

The transaction was rated "BBB-" by Standard & Poor's and "Ba2" by Moody's.