International Lease Finance (ILFC) chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy is reportedly looking to buy back the aircraft leasing company he founded 35 years ago.

The move comes as the New York Federal Reserve Bank is to provide financial support to ILFC parent American International Group, through a two-year $85 billion revolving credit facility, to ensure AIG can meet liquidity requirements.

Citing people familiar with the ILFC situation the Wall Street Journal says Udvar-Hazy "does not think ILFC can stay competitive if the company remains a part of AIG, whose credit rating is deteriorating".

It claims Udvar-Hazy and other ILFC officials have been in "around-the-clock" discussions with potential investors - including private equity, European banks, sovereign wealth funds, and non-US equity funds - for the past three days.

Udvar-Hazy, a Hungarian immigrant, pioneered ILFC's leasing niche when he founded the company 35 years ago with the help of countrymen Leslie and Louis Gonda, a father-and-son team. The founders sold ILFC to AIG in 1990 for $1.3 billion in stock.

One potential problem for Udvar-Hazy is the timing of a sale, with the industry battling high fuel costs, a weak economy and a credit crisis. The paper indicates that the ILFC fleet is worth some $55 billion.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news