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Atlas planning private placement for Amazon 767s

Atlas Air is working on a private placement transaction to finance six Boeing 767-300ER converted freighters for Amazon, sources indicate.

The transaction is likely to include both bank and capital markets components, one buy-side source says. It is expected to receive a rating one or two notches below Amazon's corporate rating, which Moody's Investors Service puts at Baa1 and Standard & Poor's (S&P) at AA-.

SkyWorks Capital is understood to be arranging the placement. The firm previously disclosed that it was advising Atlas on the funding for 20 aircraft contracted to Amazon.

Atlas declines to comment on the transaction. Executives at the air cargo carrier have previously said that they plan to finance a "substantial portion" of the acquisition and conversion cost of the Amazon aircraft.

The transaction will finance six 767s for Amazon's Prime Air cargo operation. The aircraft are understood to be manufacturer's serial numbers (MSNs) 26206, 26265, 26328, 27205, 27615 and 27959.

The 767s were built from 1993 to 1997, the Flight Fleets Analyzer shows. Two (MSNs 26206 and 26265) have entered service for Amazon with the remaining four scheduled to enter service in September.

Atlas-subsidiary Titan owns the 767s and leases them to Amazon for 10-years term. The cargo carrier then operates the aircraft for the online retail giant under extendable seven-year crew, maintenance and insurance agreements.

Amazon has contracted Atlas for 21 767-300ER freighters, all of which are scheduled to be flying by 2018.

Additional reporting by Sophie Segal

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