Riyadh: AviLease, owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is among suitors competing to acquire Standard Chartered’s aviation finance business, people familiar with the matter said.
The fledgling Riyadh-based jet lessor is one of several parties that were shortlisted to proceed to the second round of bidding for the unit, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are confidential.
Dublin-based Standard Chartered Aviation Finance manages over 230 aircraft and offers other services such as jet fuel hedging, debt financing and remarketing unneeded planes. An acquisition of the business would help AviLease rapidly gain scale and boost its presence in key leasing markets in the Middle East and other parts of the world.
Discussions are still ongoing and could fall apart without an agreement, the people said. Representatives for PIF and AviLease declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Standard Chartered couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Standard Chartered announced in January that it was considering selling its aviation finance business, which it acquired in 2007, as part of its strategy to cut costs and improve shareholder returns.
AviLease was established last year as part of Saudi Arabia’s push to diversify its economy. It is led by Ted O’Byrne, who previously helped oversee Carlyle Group Inc.’s aviation arm.