TEXTitch affirms AerCap IDR at 'BBB-'
Aug 24 - Fitch Ratings has affirmed AerCap Holdings N.V.'s (AER) long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BBB-'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. A full list of ratings is provided at the end of this release. Today's affirmation follows AER's announcement that it has repurchased an additional $120 million common shares from one of its major shareholders and simultaneously upsized its share repurchase authorization to $320 million from $200 million. Over the past two months, AER has repurchased approximately $175 million from Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. (Cerberus), which now owns approximately 10% of the company. An additional $104 million is available under the current share repurchase authorization, which expires in June 2013. The recent share repurchases have had only a modest impact on AER's leverage and liquidity, which continue to support its conservative credit profile. Fitch expects the company to be able to maintain its debt-to-equity ratio at or below 3.0x, as its secured debt amortizes fairly rapidly. Furthermore, AER continues to maintain an adequate liquidity cushion to meet debt and purchase commitment obligations over the next year. In Fitch's view, the recent share repurchases have been opportunistic in nature and do not impact the company's conservative approach to managing its capital structure and leverage. RATING DRIVERS AND SENSITIVITIES Negative rating actions could result if Fitch comes to view AER's capital management as becoming more aggressive or if the company fails to maintain its debt-to-equity ratio at or below 3.0x over the long term. Weakened operating performance and/or deterioration in the quality of the aircraft fleet could also lead to negative rating actions. Conversely, further diversification of funding sources, including a meaningful unsecured component, could potentially lead to positive momentum over a longer-term time horizon. AER is a global aviation services company providing aircraft leasing and management services to its customers around the world. The company owns and manages approximately 350 aircraft with total assets of $9.1 billion, making it one of the largest commercial aircraft lessor in the world. AER is headquartered in the Netherlands with offices in Ireland, the United States, China, Singapore and the UAE. The company is listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol AER. In accordance with Fitch's policies, the issuer appealed and provided additional information to Fitch that resulted in a rating action that is different than the original rating committee outcome. Fitch has affirmed the following ratings: AerCap Holdings N.V. --Long-term IDR at 'BBB-'; Outlook Stable. AerCap Aviation Solutions B.V. --Senior unsecured debt rating at 'BBB-'. AerCap B.V. AerCap Dutch Aircraft Leasing I B.V. AerCap Dutch Aircraft leasing IV B.V. AerCap Dutch Aircraft Leasing VII B.V. AerCap Engine Leasing Limited AerCap Ireland Limited AerCap Note Purchaser (IOM) Limited AerCap Partners 767 Limited AerCap Partners I Limited AerFI Sverige AB AerFunding 1 Limited AerVenture Leasing 1 Limited AerVenture Limited Burgundy Aircraft Leasing Limited Flotlease 973 (Bermuda) Limited Flotlease MSN 3699 Limited Flotlease MSN 973 Limited Genesis Portfolio Funding 1 Limited GLS Atlantic Alpha Limited Harmonic Aircraft Leasing Limited Melodic Aircraft Leasing Limited Peony Aircraft Holdings Limited Polyphonic Aircraft Leasing Limited Rouge Aircraft Leasing Limited Sapa Aircraft Leasing 2 BV Sapa Aircraft Leasing BV SkyFunding Limited Symphonic Aircraft Leasing Limited Synchronic Aircraft Leasing Limited Triple Eight Aircraft Leasing Limited Wahaflot Leasing 3699 (Bermuda) Limited Westpark 1 Aircraft Leasing Limited --Senior secured bank debt 'BBB'. Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings. Applicable Criteria and Related Research: --'Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria' (Aug. 15, 2012); --'Finance and Leasing Companies Criteria' (Dec. 12, 2011). Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria Finance and Leasing Companies Criteria