Milbank and Clifford Chance have advised on the acquisition of Goshawk Aviation’s commercial aircraft leasing platform and its subsidiaries and associated assets.
The deal comprises a cash consideration of approximately $1.6 billion gives the company an enterprise value of approximately $6.7 billion.
The acquirer, SMBC Aviation Capital (SMBC AC), is being advised by Milbank, with a team led by London partner James Cameron. .
Dublin-based Goshawk is an equal share joint venture between the two sellers, NWS Holdings Limited and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited in Hong Kong. They are represented by Clifford Chance.
The Clifford Chance team is being led by Hong Kong partner Virginia Lee, and included London partners Ranbir Hunjan, Sonia Gilbert and Michael Lyons, Brussels partner Richard Blewett, New York partner Zarrar Sehgal and Hong Kong partner Thomas Walsh.
Milbank is a long term legal advisor to SMBC AC. In 2016, the firm advised the company on a debut $500 million investment grade debt offering by its wholly-owned subsidiary, SMBC Aviation Capital Finance DAC. It was also Milbank that advised SMBC on its acquisition of RBS Aviation Capital from the Royal Bank of Scotland, creating SMBC AC.
Clifford Chance has previously also advised NWS on several other transactions including its 2015 acquisition of a 40% stake in Goshawk Aviation for $222.5 million.
As part of the latest deal, SMBC AC will acquire a portfolio of 176 owned and managed aircraft. The additions will give SMBC AC a portfolio of 709 owned and managed aircraft and an additional $13 billion of orders from aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, will make SMBC AC the second largest aircraft leasing company by number of aircraft globally.
Dublin-based SMBC AC is owned by a consortium of Japanese institutions including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company Limited and Sumitomo Corporation.