Minsheng to close debt deal in September

Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

Chinese operating lessor Minsheng Commercial Aviation (MSCA) is on track to close its first debt transaction next month.

The newly established lessor has approached a number of commercial banks for debt proposals covering "five or six aircraft" chief executive officer Johnny Lau tells Flightglobal in an interview.

Equity will be funded by parent company Minsheng Financial Leasing but the debt portion will be provided by various banks, according to him.

MSCA is a Hong Kong-based wholly-owned subsidiary of Minsheng Financial Leasing that was created this summer and is supported by the firm's leasing division.

Lau joined last month from Chinese carrier Spring Airlines to head up the new commercial aviation leasing business. The current team includes three staff and a fourth person is expected to join by year-end as MSCA aims to build an aircraft portfolio after its first aircraft deal with Air Berlin earlier this month.

"Minsheng Financial Leasing has a leasing presence in business jets and helicopters but my task is to develop the commercial aviation business. At the moment MSCA is supported by the parent's mid-offices but my plan is to grow the company independently," says Lau.

The lessor started operations earlier this month when it signed a package deal for 11 aircraft - covering used and new narrowbody aircraft with Air Berlin.

This transaction consists of two parts: sale and leaseback of two used A319s and three A320 aircraft owned by Air Berlin as well as two new deliveries in 2014, including one new A321 and one new Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

In addition, Minsheng will have an option to buy four 737-700/800s from Air Berlin and place them into the Chinese market.

The 737-800 aircraft will be leased to Chinese start-up carrier Ruili Airlines.