Aircastle Announces $900M Agreement for Purchase and Leaseback of Boeing 777-300ERs with LATAM Airlines Group
Aircastle Limited (NYSE: AYR) announced that it reached an agreement with LATAM Airlines Group S.A. ("LATAM") to enter into purchase and leaseback transactions involving eight Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
The first group of four aircraft, which were manufactured in 2012, is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2014 with an average lease term of 60 months. The second group of aircraft, which were manufactured in 2008, is expected to be purchased by Aircastle once the existing financings are repaid and will be leased back to LATAM with lease terms expiring in 2017 and 2018.
Ron Wainshal, Aircastle's CEO, commented: "LATAM is one of the world's premier airline groups and we are very happy to have concluded this important transaction. In doing so, we are assisting LATAM by providing a complete solution for its Boeing 777-300ER fleet transition program while acquiring very attractive, well priced assets that we will be able to remarket before newer generation aircraft are available. This transaction plays to Aircastle's balance sheet strengths and its experience as a skilled aircraft manager."
The closing of these transactions is subject to conditions precedent customary for transactions of this type.
About Aircastle Limited Aircastle Limited acquires, leases and sells commercial jet aircraft to airlines throughout the world. As of December 31, 2013, Aircastle's aircraft portfolio consisted of 162 aircraft on lease with 64 customers located in 37 countries.
About LATAM Airlines Group S.A. LATAM Airlines Group S.A. is the new name given to LAN Airlines S.A. as a result of its association with TAM S.A. LATAM Airlines Group S.A. now includes LAN Airlines and its affiliates in Peru, Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador, and LAN Cargo and its affiliates, as well as TAM S.A. and its subsidiaries TAM Linhas Aereas S.A., including its business units TAM Transportes Aereos del Mercosur S.A. (TAM Airlines (Paraguay)) and Multiplus S.A. This association creates one of the largest airline groups in the world in terms of network connections, providing passenger transport services to about 135 destinations in 22 countries and cargo services to about 144 destinations in 27 countries, with a fleet of 322 aircraft. In total, LATAM Airlines Group S.A. has more than 52,000 employees and its shares are traded in Santiago, as well as on the New York Stock Exchange, in the form of ADRs, and Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, in the form of BDRs.
Each airline will continue to operate under their current brands and identities. For any inquiry of LAN or TAM, please visit www.lan.com or www.tam.com.br, respectively. Further information at www.latamairlinesgroup.net.
Safe Harbor Certain items in this press release and other information we provide from time to time, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including, but not necessarily limited to, statements relating to our ability to acquire, sell, lease or finance aircraft, raise capital, pay dividends, and increase revenues, earnings, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income and the global aviation industry and aircraft leasing sector. Words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "projects," "believes," "may," "will," "would," "could," "should," "seeks," "estimates" and variations on these words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors that could lead to actual results materially different from those described in the forward-looking statements; Aircastle can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements contained in this report. Factors that could have a material adverse effect on our operations and future prospects or that could cause actual results to differ materially from Aircastle expectations include, but are not limited to, capital markets disruption or volatility which could adversely affect our continued ability to obtain additional capital to finance new investments or our working capital needs; government fiscal or tax policies, general economic and business conditions or other factors affecting demand for aircraft or aircraft values and lease rates; our continued ability to obtain favorable tax treatment in Bermuda, Ireland and other jurisdictions; our ability to pay dividends; high or volatile fuel prices, lack of access to capital, reduced load factors and/or reduced yields, operational disruptions caused by political unrest and other factors affecting the creditworthiness of our airline customers and their ability to continue to perform their obligations under our leases and other risks detailed from time to time in Aircastle's filings with the SEC, including as previously disclosed in Aircastle's 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K, and elsewhere in this report. In addition, new risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for Aircastle to predict or assess the impact of every factor that may cause its actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report. Aircastle Limited expressly disclaims any obligation to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.
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