GMT Global launches in Dublin

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GMT Global Republic Aviation (GMT Global), previously operating as the aviation and portfolio division of Republic Financial Corporation, managing a fleet of 16 aircraft valued at approximately $640 million, today announced its launch as a separate business entity.

Based in Dublin, Ireland, GMT Global has been formed to operate and expand Republic’s commercial aviation investment and lease management business. The company will continue to have the US offices in Aurora (CO) and Reston (VA).

The executive management team that headed Republic’s aviation group will manage the recently formed GMT Global. The company will be led by Paul Mason, chief executive officer and Ian Massey, chief financial officer.

Talking exclusively to CAO, Mason says: “Dublin is the leasing capital of the world, so this sets the stage for whatever we do in the future.”

He adds: “The new company allows us to take advantage of the special corporate tax rate of 12.5% and to be closer to our customers.”

GMT Global’s 16 aircraft portfolio includes six Airbus A340-200s on lease to South African Airways, two Airbus A340-300s on lease to Virgin, two Airbus A340-300s on lease to Air Comet, three Airbus A330-300s on lease to Brussels Airlines, and two Airbus A340-200s on lease to Royal Jordanian. Another Airbus aircraft is due to be announced in the coming weeks.

All aircraft have been transferred into Dublin-domiciled structures.

Although GMT Global is made up of an all-Airbus widebody fleet, the company is open to all aircraft assets “that provide a good return.”

“Our investment thesis has been to buy long-range, widebody aircraft because we saw there was going to be a shortage in the market,” adds Massey. “We believe this supply and demand imbalance in the widebody market will last for a while yet. Airbus and Boeing may not be thrilled, but it won’t cause us a lot of heartache.”

Mason says the GMT is exploring various options to fund the company, including an initial public offering.

However, Mason says the securitisation market is an area “GMT Global would not go into as the company doesn’t want to be hobbled by the requirements of the rating agency in terms of assets.”

Massey adds: “We don’t want to build a portfolio for a financing structure.”

Paul Mason joined Republic Financial Corporation in 2004, having previously spent four years as president of North American sales at Airbus SAS. He joined Airbus in 1990, initially as the Airbus North America representative at Airbus’s Toulouse headquarters. He also served as vice president of commercial operations and deputy to the chief commercial officer.

Ian Massey joined Republic Financial Corporation in 2001, having previously served as the senior financial executive at Airbus Industries, where he was also a member of the executive board. In 2001, Massey was awarded the distinguished “Officer of the Order of the British Empire” (OBE) for his contributions to the field of aviation. Previously he worked for British Aerospace in a number of financial positions.