Leasing company AerCap to acquire competitor GECAS

Aercap and GECAS are two of the largest aircraft leasing companies. Image: © Airbus

AerCap Holdings has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).

GECAS is a subsidiary of GE Capital, the financial arm of General Electric, and the largest aviation leasing company in the world. The now confirmed deal will see GE receive US $24 billion in cash, $1 billion in AerCap notes, as well as 111.5 million newly issued shares. Goldman Sachs and Citi are providing US $24 billion in financing for the deal. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year but subject to prior shareholder approval.

Dublin-based AerCap says the company resulting from the merger will own and manage more than 2000 aircraft and more than 900 engines, which it leases to more than 300 customers around the world. GE is expected to hold a 46 percent stake in the combined company, retaining the name AerCap.

The two leasing giants currently have a total of 493 ‘new technology’ aircraft on order, 90 percent of which are narrowbodies. These next generation aircraft (reffering to Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 Max, etc.) are expected to make up 74 percent of AerCap’s fleet by 2024.