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Stonebriar Acquires Guggenheim Business Aircraft; Launches SCF Business Aviation

April 08, 2016, 07:18 AM
Filed Under: Aircraft

Stonebriar Commercial Finance ("Stonebriar") announced it has acquired the Guggenheim Business Aircraft Investments team, led by Nicholas M. Sandler, along with 16 aircraft under long term leases with an asset value in excess of $220 million. Sandler, from Guggenheim Partners, served as portfolio manager for the Guggenheim Aircraft Opportunity Fund ("GAOF"), the first ever comingled investment vehicle dedicated to business aviation. This acquisition combines a wealth of business aviation knowledge, experience and worldwide relationships.

In conjunction with the acquisition, Stonebriar is launching SCF Business Aviation which will be led by Michael Amalfitano, EVP, Senior Managing Director along with co-head Sandler, EVP, Senior Managing Director. Sandler, in addition to his leadership, will oversee capital planning and funding for the business.

SCF Business Aviation is a dynamic leasing and finance platform that provides customized capital solutions to owners, operators, dealers and manufacturers of business aircraft worldwide. Investments include secured loans, operating and finance leases, pre-delivery payments, dealer floor plan and bridge financing. Capital can be deployed against both new and used assets, in full recourse and non-recourse (asset based) structures. Clients and aircraft can be based domestically as well as internationally.

Additionally, Kenn Ricci of Directional Aviation has joined Stonebriar's Board. For over 30 years, Ricci has been a leading investor in and operator of business aviation companies including FlexJet and was previously a member of GAOF's advisory board. "We are excited to join the Stonebriar team and to continue our collaboration with Kenn Ricci. We also look forward to broadening our international capabilities to prudently grow SCF Business Aviation," said Sandler.

SCF Business Aviation has closed 27 aircraft transactions from its inception in 2015 through first quarter 2016 which included secured loans and operating leases on turbine powered fixed and rotary aircraft, including turbo-props, helicopters and large cabin, long range business jets. SCF Business Aviation plans to further build out their team in 2016 with additional experienced aviation professionals in sales originations, sales & marketing support, credit & portfolio management, capital markets and international.

"Michael and Nick bring together a full spectrum of investment skills, vast industry experience and strong relationships in business aviation. They immediately make Stonebriar a leading provider of capital solutions to the business aviation industry" said Dave B. Fate, Stonebriar President and CEO. We are excited about starting 2016 with this acquisition which continues to build on our significant momentum over the past year. Security Benefit Corporation provides a strong operational and capital base to Stonebriar that will allow SCF Business Aviation to grow quickly while allowing us to be selective in the transactions we pursue."

"Our strategy is to leverage the people, assets, and unique capabilities of Stonebriar, a well-funded and nimble organization, by providing financial terms and structures not generally offered by traditional sources to a broad array of clients across both the Domestic U.S. and global business aviation markets," said Amalfitano.
Stonebriar is a privately held commercial finance company established in 2015 and based in Plano, TX. With financial backing from Security Benefit Corporation, Stonebriar is building a world class, multi-billion dollar platform of commercial loans and leases. Stonebriar specializes in transactions for businesses in a wide variety of industries (Business Aviation, Rail Leasing, Realty Capital, marine, transportation, manufacturing, energy, etc.) throughout the entire credit spectrum located in the United States, Canada and select other foreign jurisdictions.

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