Funds managed by Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners (“Stonepeak”), a private equity firm specializing in infrastructure investing, have partnered with Bellinger Asset Management (“Bellinger”) to complete the acquisition of a US$1.1 billion performing aircraft loan portfolio from National Australia Bank. The portfolio comprises 27 loan facilities secured by 159 aircraft having a collateral valuation of $1.4 billion1. The weighted average remaining loan term of the portfolio is approximately 5.6 years and the underlying collateral comprises mostly new generation aircraft with a weighted average age of approximately 4.6 years.
The portfolio acquisition represents the first joint investment made by Stonepeak and Bellinger and the launch of a diversified, independent aviation platform, which will seek to deploy capital opportunistically and strategically across the aviation sector. Funds managed by Stonepeak have committed $500 million in further equity capital for future investment in partnership with Bellinger in the aviation platform. Stonepeak’s investment will be made through a combination of Stonepeak’s infrastructure-focused private equity and credit funds.
“We view aviation as a critical infrastructure sector and key industry within the firm’s broader transportation investment strategy,” said Luke Taylor, Senior Managing Director and Executive Committee Member of Stonepeak. “The portfolio acquisition is the culmination of several years of thematic sourcing efforts in the aviation sector and continues our successful track record of targeting investments backed by high quality real assets with strong contracted cash flows and downside protection. We are excited to have partnered with Bellinger on this transaction and to continue working with the senior team there to grow our investments in the sector.”
Jack Howell, Senior Managing Director and Executive Committee Member of Stonepeak, added, “Aviation has been a strategic area of focus for our credit business, and we expect to continue to pursue opportunistic capital deployments in the space.”
René Mansveld, Managing Partner of Bellinger, said, “This acquisition is consistent with our investment strategy in aviation and our history of investing up and down the capital structure at different points of the economic cycle. At a time of significant disruption in the global aviation industry, the acquisition provides us with exposure to a portfolio of high quality, senior ranking loan assets secured by young, new generation aircraft and a diversified group of borrowers comprising investment grade lessors and major North American and state-owned or supported airlines. We are delighted to have partnered with the experienced and respected team at Stonepeak to complete this transaction.”
Allen & Overy LLP served as legal advisor on the transaction. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. served as financial advisor on the transaction.
Stonepeak Partners LP (www.stonepeakpartners.com) is an infrastructure-focused private equity firm headquartered in New York with approximately $33 billion of assets under management. Stonepeak invests in long-lived, hard-asset businesses and projects that provide essential services to customers, and seeks to actively partner with high-quality management teams, facilitate operational improvements, and provide capital for growth initiatives.
Established in 2008 and headquartered in Sydney, Bellinger is a privately owned investment management and advisory firm that facilitates and manages investments in alternative assets on behalf of its wholesale and institutional clients. Bellinger’s affiliated entity, Bellinger Aviation, was established in Singapore in 2013 as a full-service aviation investment manager. Bellinger Aviation provides aviation sector and asset expertise across all key disciplines including investment origination and analysis, lease management, technical asset management, aircraft remarketing, legal and finance.
1 Collateral valuation is calculated based upon Stonepeak’s pro-rata share of each facility and the average of the half-life, current market valuations of the aircraft obtained from each of Ascend, MBA and IBA as at the economic closing date.