BLP acts for Engine Lease Finance Corporation on acquisition of Macquarie Bank Ltd aircraft engines

Deal assists consolidate global top 3 position

International law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) acted for Engine Lease Finance Corporation (ELFC) on the acquisition of 47 aircraft engines from Macquarie Bank Limited and subsidiaries within the Macquarie Engines business. ELFC will, subject to relevant consents, also assume the servicing of a further seven engines that are owned by a third party, adding to ELFC’s managed portfolio.

On completion of the transaction, ELFC will own or manage 300 modern aircraft engines on lease to more than 80 airlines, and maintenance, repair and overhaul companies. This consolidates its position as the largest independent operating lessor of aircraft engines.

The transaction involved an extensive due diligence exercise conducted by BLP on the portfolio of leased engines. This included lease and title reviews in relation to each engine and worked with local counsel in 14 jurisdictions and with insurance advisers.

The transaction was led by Keith Wilson, who joined BLP as a partner in the asset finance team in April this year, and was supported by senior associate Juho Ranta-Aho and four other asset finance associates. BLP partner Adrian Magnus provided competition advice. Keith Wilson previously represented ELFC on significant transactions including a transaction including one involving 29 aircraft engines which won Aircraft Finance’s “Engine Deal of the Year” in 2007.

“In order to meet the commercial expectations of this transaction it was necessary to bring together a team of individuals that were able to conduct extensive diligence efficiently, negotiate professionally and execute promptly. BLP’s involvement in this process has enabled us to deliver on these expectations” said Darren Wormald, Executive Vice President – Legal of ELFC

Commenting on the deal Keith Wilson said: “The sale of the 47 engine portfolio was a rare opportunity for a lessor to make a significant step advance in a single transaction. We are very pleased to have assisted ELFC in winning a competitive bid process and quickly reaching a definitive agreement to make that step. This transaction required depth of resource in the aircraft finance and leasing area, which was a main driver for my joining BLP earlier this year. The ability to access that depth and quality of resource so as to complete deals of this size efficiently makes BLP’s team stand out in the market.”

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