GIC acquires 30% stake in aircraft leasing company BBAM

GIC will, via its affiliates, acquire the stake in BBAM through partial sales by the company's two existing shareholders, BBAM's management team and the Onex Group.
GIC will, via its affiliates, acquire the stake in BBAM through partial sales by the company's two existing shareholders, BBAM's management team and the Onex Group.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC has agreed to buy a 30 per cent interest in aircraft leasing giant BBAM.

The transaction is expected to close by Sept 30, subject to certain conditions and approvals.

GIC will, via its affiliates, acquire the stake in BBAM through partial sales by the company's two existing shareholders, BBAM's management team and the Onex Group, it said in a joint statement with BBAM and Onex on Tuesday (Sept 5).

Following the transaction, all three parties will assume minority joint ownership of the company.

BBAM, which has more than 400 aircraft under management, is the only manager in the aircraft leasing industry that is focused exclusively on generating investment returns for third-party investors.

The firm employs over 120 professionals at its headquarters in San Francisco and in additional offices in New York, London, Tokyo, Singapore, Zurich, Dublin, and Santiago.

Mr Arjun Khullar, head of Integrated Strategies Group at GIC, noted that BBAM is a "remarkable platform" built upon a 30-year joint venture with Nomura Babcock & Brown. It has expanded through its founding and ongoing management of FLY, and Incline.

"As a long-term investor, we believe it is a unique opportunity to invest in the aircraft leasing sector which has strong growth potential," said Mr Khullar.

"GIC's participation in BBAM is a strong endorsement of the asset management model that BBAM pioneered more than two decades ago and the investment returns realised on assets managed by BBAM over that period," said Mr Tawfiq Popatia, a managing director at Onex.

GIC's latest investment follows its commitment earlier this year to Incline Aviation, the aircraft leasing industry's largest institutional fund that is managed by BBAM.