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ART, Macquarie, PGGM boost Macquarie AirFinance acquisition

Macquarie Asset Management, PGGM Infrastructure Fund and Australian Retirement Trust (ART) have tipped US$600 million into Macquarie AirFinance’s US$2.2 billion acquisition of an aircraft portfolio from ALAFC0.

Macquarie AirFinance will purchase 53 current and next-generation commercial passenger aircraft and an order of 20 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company K.S.C.P (ALAFCO, with support from shareholders including ART, Macquarie, PGGM and a US$1.65 billion acquisition facility underwritten by BNP Paribas, Citibank, MUFG Bank and Natixis.

“The diversification of Macquarie AirFinance’s fleet into more efficient and lower emissions aircraft is consistent with our broader strategies to lower net emissions across our portfolio, while never compromising on our members’ best financial interests,” said Michael Weaver, head of global real assets at ART. “Our partnership with Macquarie and PGGM in Macquarie AirFinance continues to provide ART’s members an attractive investment into a unique asset with diversification benefits across our portfolio.”

Macquarie AirFinance holds a portfolio of 189 aircraft leased to 77 airlines across 47 countries and an existing orderbook of 59 Airbus A32neo and A220-300 aircraft. The transaction will help Macquarie AirFinance “further expand and diversify its fleet of aircraft while improving the emissions profile, scale, average age, remaining lease term, and orderbook size”.

“This strategic acquisition will enable Macquarie AirFinance to grow its network of customers globally while increasing its exposure to more efficient aircraft,” said Jonathan Watkinson-Hall, head of asset finance at Macquarie Asset Management. “As passengers return to the skies and investor appetite for transportation assets strengthens, we are excited to support Macquarie AirFinance as it acquires this attractive portfolio and positions for future growth.”

“With this investment, PGGM Infrastructure Fund follows through on its commitment made at the time of becoming a shareholder in Macquarie AirFinance in 2019 – to finance the acquisition of young aircraft and to provide an attractive risk-return to our clients,” said Dennis van Alphen, head of infrastructure investments at PGGM (photo at top).

“In the next decades, the global aviation industry will demand aircraft with an increasingly lower carbon footprint as the industry works towards its 2050 net zero target, as formulated by IATA member airlines in 2021. In that context, PGGM Infrastructure Fund will expect all of its investee companies to develop a credible long-term CO2 reduction strategy before 2030 to align themselves with the Paris Climate Agreement, so they meet our client PFZW’s climate ambition.’’

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