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RBS Sells Aviation Business to Sumitomo Mitsui for $7.3 Billion

January 17, 2012, 07:30 AM
Filed Under: Aircraft

Bloomberg Businessweek reported Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is selling its aviation leasing unit to Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. for about $7.3 billion, the biggest disposal by the state-owned lender since its U.K. government bailout in 2008.

According to the report, the sale of the Dublin-based unit should be completed by the end of the third quarter, leaving Japan’s second-biggest bank by market value and partner Sumitomo Corp. in control of a fleet of 206 aircraft, with commitments to buy another 87 by 2015, RBS said in a statement. The Tokyo-based group fended off bids from China Development Bank Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. as its President Koichi Miyata sought overseas acquisitions to counter slowing growth at home.

 “This is a milestone in terms of RBS running down its non- core business and marks another step in the right direction,” said Gary Greenwood, an analyst at Shore Capital in Liverpool. “These were long-term assets which aren’tparticularly liquid, which meant RBS had to hold quite a bit of capital against them.”

As reported, Sumitomo Mitsui became the leading bidder after concern grew that state-owned China Development Bank would struggle to gain government approval in a timely manner, a person with knowledge of the talks said on Jan. 12.

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