Dubai Aerospace to acquire AWAS Aviation Capital

AWAS leases a number of aircraft types, including the Boeing 747 (pictured). Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
AWAS leases a number of aircraft types, including the Boeing 747 (pictured). Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise has this week announced its intention to acquire Irish aircraft leasing company Awas Aviation Capital.

The UAE government-owned Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) will buy 100% of AWAS Aviation Capital, and in doing so create a company worth in excess of $14bn.

In the past it had been reported that AWAS was being offered for sale for a price of $7bn, however, the exact price which DAE will pay has yet to be confirmed.

DAE itself is heavily involved in the aircraft leasing business, functioning as the largest player in this market in the Middle East.

While many airlines buy their aircraft outright, many others choose to instead lease some or all of their aircraft from companies like AWAS and DAE.

Through acquiring AWAS Aviation Capital, DAE is further extending its market reach and growing significantly in size.

As things stand AWAS has a fleet of 263 wide body aircraft in use by a variety of operators. Moreover it also has a further 23 such aircraft on order.

Once the acquisition is complete the combined company will have a fleet numbering in excess of 390 aircraft.

“This acquisition of AWAS is strategically compelling and propels DAE into a top 10 aircraft leasing platform,” said DAE managing director Khalifa H. Al-Daboos.

“Our leasing business has been growing at a rapid clip and this acquisition will more than double the current size of our business, providing the necessary scale for DAE to best serve its customers.”

As well DAE stated that the deal would allow them to diversify their aircraft leasing portfolio, and better manage financial risk.

“We are delighted to be able to acquire this platform and to combine it with our capabilities to offer our global customers an even wider range of aviation solutions. In addition, this combination results in a well-diversified portfolio with the ability to generate strong risk-adjusted returns,” said DAE CEO Firoz Tarapore.

The deal itself has not yet received regulatory approval, however, DAE expects that this will be forthcoming by the 3rd quarter of 2017.

At this stage, it is unclear if any job losses or business consolidation will occur due to the planned acquisition.