EastMerchant has successfully closed the sale and lease-back of two Boeing 787-10 and one Airbus A350-900 aircraft between Singapore Airlines and Crianza Aviation, the Korean aircraft lessor.

The transaction features a novel, multi-layered financing structure with the senior financing being supported by KfW IPEX-Bank / Balthazar for the Airbus A350-900 and the two Boeing 787-10 financed by AFIC / Natixis Singapore and Apple Bank which is complemented by Korean mezzanine debt raised by Seoul based Cerritos Holdings as well as equity from Korean investors together with Crianza.

Baldur Vander, Chief Executive Officer of Crianza, said: “We started work on this project in mid-2020 in the midst of high uncertainty and it makes us very proud that EastMerchant and Crianza have been able to bring together a large group of finance parties to support Singapore Airlines during unprecedented times. Crianza has successfully navigated through the pandemic while shielding its investors from any impact, validating its unique investment strategy. The addition of three modern aircraft on lease to Singapore Airlines to Crianza’s portfolio shows that we are both able to raise new capital in Korea and that our investors are committed to continuing Crianza’s growth path.”

The transaction signals the reopening of the Korean market for mezzanine and equity financings of aircraft after an 18-month hiatus and in this regard represents an important milestone for Crianza Aviation, its Korean shareholders and the Korean market in general.

Patrick Giese, Managing Director of EastMerchant commented: “I would especially like to thank the teams of Singapore Airlines and all other transaction parties for supporting us throughout the transaction and with the logistics of getting all aircraft delivered within one single day. We are very pleased to now have eight Singapore Airlines aircraft under management.”

Legal counsel for the transaction and lessor were Jaffa & Co. (UK) and Matheson (Ireland) with corporate services being provided by APEX Group. The various financiers / insurers were represented by Milbank, Norton Rose, Yulchon, Lee & Ko. as well as HSF and Clifford Chance. Asia Practice, Rajah & Tann as well as Walkers acted as special local counsel.