Dubai's Emirates plans new aircraft lease deal

DUBAI, June 27 Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:38am EDT

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DUBAI, June 27 (Reuters) - Dubai's Emirates airline plans to lease new Airbus A380 superjumbo aircraft from a finance company that will issue $630 million of bond-type certificates to fund the purchase of the planes.

Emirates, one of the world's fastest-growing airlines, has been diversifying its funding strategy to expand its fleet and compete with regional peers such as Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

The Gulf carrier signed a similar lease deal worth $587.5 million in June last year.

Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley have been hired as bookrunners on $630 million of enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETCs) issued by DNA Alpha Ltd (Doric) to finance the latest aircraft deal.

An EETC is a financial security through which the airline assumes ownership of the planes on maturity of the certificates. The transactions are similar to secured debt financing such as mortgages.

The certificates will be offered to qualified institutional investors in the United States. Pricing is expected on Thursday, according to IFR Markets, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

The proceeds will be used to finance the acquisition of four Airbus A380s, lead arrangers said.

Aircraft leasing company Doric, considerably smaller than industry leaders such as GECAS and International Lease Finance Corp, signed an $8 billion deal at the Paris Air Show this month to buy 20 A380s.

Doric, the world's 11th-biggest aircraft lessor overall, has been involved in a number of transactions with Emirates and Singapore Airlines, pushing it to the No.3 spot for leasing of wide-body aircraft.

Under the new issue, $462 million of Class A notes will carry a final maturity of 9.9 years and an average life of 5.7 years, while the $168 million Class B notes are expected to mature in 6.4 years with an average life of 3.8 years. (Reporting by Rachna Uppal and Praveen Menon; Editing by Dinesh Nair and David Goodman)

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