A new South African aircraft finance company has started with a $50 million agreement to finance three KLM Boeing 737-400s. Called Safair Lease Finance, the new company is a 50:50 joint venture between Imperial Holdings, a diversified group with a leasing business of 57-owned aircraft and 80 aircraft under management, and financial services group Sanlam, together with its investment bank, Gensec. Safair has ambitions to finance at least R5 billion ($483 million) in aviation assets, but starts with an equity capital of only R800 million. The KLM contract adds to an €80 million ($78 million) deal with DHL International for five Airbus A300B4 freighters signed this year. The company expects to win a R2 billion financing and acquisition deal for a fleet of "new narrowbodied aircraft within a few weeks". Safair will be chaired by Imperial chief executive Bill Lynch.

Source: Flight International