Reuters- SMBC Aviation Capital, one of the world's largest aircraft lessors, is close to a deal to acquire smaller rival Goshawk for $7 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The sources said that a deal between the two privately held Dublin, Ireland-based lessors could be announced as soon as next week. As consolidation sweeps the industry, it would create a global aircraft leasing giant.
In a deal worth more than $30 billion, the world's two largest aircraft leasing companies, Ireland's AerCap and GE's leasing arm GECAS, merged last year.
According to its website, SMBC Aviation Capital, owned by a consortium including Japan's Sumitomo Corp and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, has a fleet of more than 750 owned, managed and committed aircraft, mostly Boeing and Airbus short-haul models.
Goshawk, a 50-50 joint venture between the Chinese conglomerate NWS Holdings Limited and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited, has an owned, managed and committed fleet that consists of 222 aircraft, according to its website.
A spokesman for SMBC Aviation Capital didn't offer any comment. Goshawk didn't respond immediately to a comment request.
The talks between the two companies took place in November, according to the trade publication AirFinance Journal.
A flurry of deals has reshaped a global air finance industry that has attracted a huge amount of capital in recent years.
Carlyle Group Inc., the private equity investment arm of Carlyle Group Inc., agreed last year to buy aircraft leasing company Fly Leasing Ltd for $2.36 billion, including debt. In December, Carlyle's aviation arm agreed to buy Irish leasing firm AMCK Aviation's portfolio of aircraft.