China's AVIC confirms interest in buying aircraft lessor Avolon

BEIJING Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:00am EDT

BEIJING Aug 15 (Reuters) - A subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) said on Friday it was in talks to buy Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm Avolon, confirming media reports that takeover discussions were under way.

AVIC Capital Co Ltd has been in talks with relevant parties on the acquisition of Avolon and conducted initial due diligence, it said in a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange website.

However, it denied a report in a Chinese newspaper on Aug. 8 that valued the deal at about 12 billion euros ($16.05 billion).

"The size of the deal mentioned by the newspaper report is not accurate," the statement said.

AVIC also said it remained in talks with relevant parties but that no deal had been reached yet. "There is still uncertainty that a deal can be completed," the statement said.

Citing sources, Reuters reported this week that China Investment Corp (CIC), the country's $653 billion sovereign wealth fund, and AVIC were in talks to buy Avolon for $4 billion to $5 billion including debt.

Avolon was estimated to have an equity value of around $2.5 billion, the sources said.

Avolon is backed by private equity firms Cinven Ltd, CVC Capital Partners Ltd and Oak Hill Capital Partners, as well as Singapore's sovereign wealth fund.

(1 US dollar = 0.7479 euro) (Reporting by Fang Yan and Matthew Miller; Editing by Alan Raybould)