| NEW YORK, July 29
NEW YORK, July 29 Awas, the aircraft
leasing company owned by British private equity firm Terra
Firma, is working on a break-up that could value the
Dublin-based lessor at roughly $13 billion, according to people
familiar with the matter.
Awas is in talks with potential bidders to sell a portfolio
of about 100 newer aircraft that could fetch a sale price of
roughly $5 billion, the people said on Tuesday, asking not to be
named because the matter is not public.
Separately, the company plans to take public the remaining
aircraft portfolio - consisted of older planes, the people said.
An initial public offering could value the second portfolio of
aircraft at around $8 billion, they added.
Awas has a portfolio of more than 300 aircraft that is on
lease to over 100 airlines around the world, according to its
Terra Firma has hired Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank
to explore exit options for Awas, which leases
airplanes to global carriers such as Singapore Airlines Ltd
and Austrailia's Qantas Airways Ltd, Reuters
reported in April.
Bids for the portfolio of newer aircraft are due in late
August, people familiar with the matter said, adding the process
was in early stages and any deal would take time to materialize.
Representatives for Terra Firma and Awas were not
immediately available for comment.
Terra Firma bought Awas from Morgan Stanley in 2006
for $2.5 billion and a year later acquired rival Pegasus for
$5.2 billion, merging the groups to create the world's
third-largest plane lessor.
The combination made Awas a much larger force in the market,
which has boomed in the last year or so as airlines look to
build fleets quickly to meet resurgent travel demand.
Aircraft leasing firms dwarf airlines in terms of fleet size
and are the biggest and most important customers for plane
makers like Boeing Co and Airbus.
Aviation assets have begun attracting the interest of
longer-term investors such as insurers and pension funds hungry
for better returns while interest rates remain low.
For Terra Firma, which is run by British financier Guy
Hands, Awas is one of its largest investments. CPPIB, the Canada
Pension Plan Investment Board, also owns a significant minority
The potential sale and public offering of Awas assets would
come on the heels of a large deal in aircraft finance in
December - AerCap Holdings NV 's $5.4 billion acquisition
of American International Group's aircraft leasing unit,
the International Lease Finance Corp.
Another aircraft lessor Avolon, backed by private equity
firms Cinven Ltd, CVC Capital Partners Ltd and Oak Hill Capital
Partners, as well as Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, is also
working on a potential initial public offering or sale, Reuters
reported in March.
(Additional reporting by Freya Berry in London; Editing by