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Willis Lease Inks 19 Engine Sale Leaseback with SAS Airlines

March 05, 2013, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Aircraft

Willis Lease Finance Corporation, a leading lessor of commercial jet engines, announced that it has entered into a transaction to purchase and leaseback a total of 19 jet engines with SAS Group subsidiary Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). Willis Lease will purchase 11 of the engines and Dublin-based Willis Mitsui & Co Engine Support Limited will purchase the remaining 8 engines. The purchase leaseback transaction is valued at approximately $120 million and is scheduled to be completed by the middle of March.
"SAS is an important addition to our customer base, and we are delighted to provide them with the capital benefits that a sale of engines combined with a long-term leaseback affords," said Charles F. Willis, CEO and Chairman. "We are pleased to be able to support SAS, and we are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
"This transaction represents a significant milestone for Willis Lease," continued Willis. "It is one of the largest and most complex engine sale and leaseback transactions ever done. We were able to combine our own financing resources with those of our joint venture partnership with Mitsui to provide funding for this large transaction, which serves to underscore the value of the Willis-Mitsui combination. Our deal team, consisting of both Willis and Mitsui members, deserves lots of credit for their structuring ability and dedication to getting the deal done."
"We are very glad and proud to enter into this long term partnership with Willis and Willis Mitsui," said Göran Jansson, SAS Group Chief Financial Officer. "Willis is one of the world's largest engine lease companies and a quality brand in the industry. Part of our 4XNG plan for a profitable SAS is to increase liquidity from asset sales, and with this partnership and agreement we now deliver the first of our sales initiatives."

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