Lessors AerFi Group and Indigo Aviation are to merge in a move that the companies say will create one of the world's largest independent aircraft leasing entities.

AerFi of Ireland - the renamed GPA Group - and Indigo of Sweden say in a joint statement that the merger will occur in two stages and the process was expected to begin by 17 November.

The companies say their combined fleet as of 30 September totalled 104 aircraft worth $2.3 billion, on lease to 57 airlines.

Both companies will continue to conduct business under their existing names following the close of the deal.

Patrick Blaney, AerFi's chief executive officer, is to be CEO of the enlarged company. John Evans, Indigo's president and CEO, is to join AerFi's board and become president and CEO of AerFi's principal operating subsidiary based in Fort Lauderdale, USA.


Indigo chairman Karl-Axel Granlund, and Edward Hansom, AerFi's chief financial officer, will also join the board of AerFi.

Blaney says the transaction "combines the complementary skills of our two management teams and allows us to achieve the increased scale of operations that our increasingly competitive industry requires."

The first stage of the transaction will see AerFi acquiring 5.9 million Indigo shares "from certain of its existing shareholders" in return for 21.8 million new AerFi ordinary shares and one million warrants to acquire AerFi ordinary shares at $3.17 per share, and thereafter to acquire 2.3 million Indigo shares for $30 million.

The second stage will see AerFi starting a cash tender offer to acquire the balance of Indigo's common stock at $13 per share, for a total of $40 million and representing a 14.9% premium on the last reported Indigo trading price on 10 November.

Source: Flight Daily News