Aircastle Limited (NYSE: AYR) ("Aircastle") announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a newly-formed entity controlled by affiliates of Marubeni Corporation ("Marubeni") and Mizuho Leasing Company, Limited ("Mizuho Leasing"). Under the terms of the merger agreement, Aircastle shareholders will receive $32.00 in cash for each common share of Aircastle (other than shares already owned by Marubeni and its affiliates), representing a total valuation of approximately $2.4 billion, or approximately $7.4 billion including debt obligations to be assumed or refinanced net of cash.
"After a review of strategic alternatives by our Board of Directors, we are pleased to reach this agreement with Marubeni and Mizuho Leasing, which delivers tremendous value and immediate liquidity to our shareholders," said Peter V. Ueberroth, Chairman of the Aircastle Board of Directors.
"We are excited to continue our partnership with Marubeni and Mizuho Leasing," said Michael J. Inglese, Chief Executive Officer of Aircastle. "We believe this transaction will deliver significant value to our shareholders, and we look forward to working with Marubeni and Mizuho Leasing on the continued growth of the business."
The cash consideration of $32.00 per share represents a 34% premium over Aircastle's closing stock price on October 23, 2019, the last trading day prior to Aircastle's public announcement that Aircastle was evaluating strategic alternatives, and a 41% premium over the volume weighted average share price during the 20 trading days ended October 23, 2019.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Aircastle's shareholders and receipt of certain regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first half of 2020. Marubeni has agreed to vote the common shares of Aircastle that Marubeni and its affiliates beneficially own in favor of the transaction.
Given the pending transaction, Aircastle will not host a third quarter earnings call and will not release its third quarter financial results for the period ended September 30, 2019 until Aircastle files its third quarter Form 10-Q.
Citigroup Global Markets Inc. is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to Aircastle and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Conyers LLP are acting as Aircastle's legal advisors.