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Third-largest lessor emerges as CIT-Avolon merger completes

Avolon today completed its acquisition of CIT's aircraft leasing business.

The merged company becomes the world's third-largest aircraft lessor.

Avolon was selected as the winning bidder for CIT in October 2016. The combined fleet was valued at $43 billion as of 31 December, consisting of 551 owned aircraft with an average age of 4.7 years on lease to 149 customers in 62 countries.

UBS and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisers for Avolon while Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Clifford Chance, and Maples and Calder were legal advisers. KPMG and EY also advised on the transaction.

JP Morgan advised CIT while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as CIT's legal counsel.

"We are pleased to announce the completion of our acquisition of the CIT aircraft leasing platform," states Avolon chief executive Domhnal Slattery. "We have acquired an excellent franchise with a stellar reputation in the market. Our immediate priority is to integrate the businesses under the Avolon brand."

In February, Avolon closed a $3 billion private placement, pricing $1.75 billion-worth of five-year senior notes at 5.25% and $1.25 billion-worth of seven-year notes at 5.5%. Along with cash, new equity contributed by Avolon's indirect parent company Bohai Capital, and a $5.5 billion senior secured term loan facility being arranged by a syndicate of banks, Avolon was able to finance the $10 billion purchase of CIT's aircraft leasing business.

Slattery also acknowledged CIT leaders Jeff Knittel and Tony Diaz for their contributions in building the aircraft leasing platform.

After the acquisition, Avolon has an orderbook with the Airbus and Boeing for 301 aircraft, including a total of 196 A320neos, A330neo and A350 jets, 61 737 Max narrowbodies, and 25 787s.

Following hard on the deal to sell a 30% stake in TC-CIT to joint-venture partner Tokyo Century, today's development marks CIT's final exit from aircraft leasing.

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