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2009 Jun 21

Abu Dhabi's Waha Capital agrees to acquire 50 percent stake in AerVenture

Abu Dhabi, June 21st, 2009: Abu Dhabi-based investment holding company Waha Capital PJSC has agreed to acquire a 50 per cent stake in AerVenture Limited. The remaining 50 percent will be held by AerVenture’s current parent company NYSE-listed global aviation company AerCap. The parties have committed to a combined total equity investment in AerVenture of US$270 million.

The joint venture will significantly extend Waha’s footprint and presence in the global aircraft leasing sector and was signed in Abu Dhabi today by Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, Chief Executive Officer of Waha Capital and Klaus Heinemann, Chief Executive Officer of AerCap. Completion of the transaction is scheduled before the end of June 2009.

AerVenture, established in 2006 with a focus on new Airbus A320 family aircraft, has a US$ 2.4 bn asset base that includes 22 A320s plus firm orders for a further 32. The company’s founding partnership with Kuwait’s LoadAir/Al Fawares ended earlier this month.

Addressing the media following the signing, Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, CEO of Waha Capital said the AerVenture joint venture is an example of the promising opportunities on offer in the current economic environment, opportunities that Abu Dhabi is leveraging to fulfill its diversification goals.

“We are extremely confident in this equity investment in AerVenture,” Al Noaimi said. “Particularly in a sector as challenging as aviation, choosing a partner with the right credentials, expertise and commitment to long-term growth is critical. We believe AerCap is such a partner, and are convinced our investments in AerVenture will significantly benefit stakeholders in both companies.”

Klaus Heinemann, Chief Executive Officer of AerCap, said: “We were extremely pleased to enter into this partnership with an industry-experienced co-investor which shares our vision of profitable growth and focus on serving the needs of the world’s leading airlines in a very short time frame. AerCap’s positive history with Waha Leasing, a subsidiary of Waha Capital, was critical to the successful conclusion of the deal.” In December 2008, Waha Leasing purchased an Airbus 330-200 and an A320-200 from AerCap.

“With Waha as a joint venture partner, AerVenture’s position is even stronger than in the past,” Heinemann said. “AerCap also hopes to benefit significantly from Abu Dhabi’s recent and growing commitment to the global aerospace sector.”

The joint venture partners have also agreed a number of separate individual aircraft transactions, including the purchase by AerVenture of an Airbus A320 from Waha, and the purchase by AerCap’s subsidiary AeroTurbine of four vintage A320 family aircraft, Al Noaimi added.

The signing ceremony was attended by senior leadership from both companies and other government representatives.

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