GECAS closes portfolio financing

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GECAS has closed financing on a $264.1 million engine portfolio in the European and Asian banking loan markets. The deal covers 36 modern-generation engines on long-term operating leases.

JP Morgan, which acted as the structuring agent, originally arranged the financing as a securitisation for the capital markets in February, but due to difficult market conditions, was forced to pull the deal in the same month.

After restructuring the financing for the banking market, JP Morgan was able to place the debt and equity with institutional investors. The $218.9 million, 7-year debt portion closed at three month Libor plus 175 basis points.

In April, difficult capital markets prompted Willis Lease Finance to turn to the private market to place $233 million of new 13 to 15-year term notes for its Willis Engine Securitisation Trust (WEST). The proceeds of the term notes were used to repay existing warehouse borrowings totalling $164 million and to purchase 11 engines from Willis Lease.

Last year, market volatility forced GECAS to pull the initial public offering of its aircraft leasing trust, Altitude, in Singapore. CIT Aerospace was also forced to cancel plans for its spin-off, Centennial, due to havoc in the public markets.