NEW YORK, NY (November 8, 2018) – On October 16, 2018, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigned issuer and senior unsecured ratings of BBB+ and BBB, respectively, with Stable Outlooks, to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Ltd. (“DAE” or “the Company”), an aerospace and aircraft leasing company headquartered in Dubai. In addition, KBRA assigned a senior unsecured rating of BBB with a Stable Outlook to $1Bn senior unsecured notes (“the Notes”) issued by a debt-issuing wholly-owned subsidiary of DAE. The Notes mature in 2023 and are guaranteed by DAE.
The ratings reflect the Company’s strong market position, established track record (including the 30+ year history of AWAS), experienced and deep management team and robust investment and risk management infrastructure. DAE’s acquisition of AWAS in August 2017 leveraged AWAS’ scale and infrastructure with DAE’s strong franchise in the Gulf region, to form a top-10 global lessor. The ratings also take into consideration the long-term ownership of DAE by Investment Corporation of Dubai (‘‘ICD’’), the investment arm of Dubai, which KBRA views positively. ICD’s significant financial resources, transparency and presence in the Gulf region provide DAE with franchise benefits and funding flexibility.
These strengths are balanced by moderately higher leverage and asset encumbrance compared to higher-rated aircraft leasing companies, as well as lessee concentration to Emirates Airlines which is partially mitigated by Emirates’ strong credit profile. The ratings also consider the cyclical nature of the industry, potential credit issues of airline customers,and event risk in general. Given DAE’s relatively high level of asset encumbrance, the senior unsecured debt rating of BBB is one notch lower than the issuer rating.
The ratings are based on KBRA’s Global Finance Company Rating Methodology, published November 28, 2017.
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