November 1, 2017 / 8:37 AM / a year ago

Aircraft lessor Avolon eyeing No. 1 slot on acquisitions, organic growth - CEO

HONG KONG, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Avolon, the world’s third-biggest aircraft lessor, wants to double in size through a mix of organic growth and acquisitions at a time when the industry outlook looks positive for several years, the company’s CEO said on Wednesday.

“Avolon’s strategic objective is to become No. 1 in the world in as short time as possible really,” Avolon Chief Executive Domhnal Slattery said, but topping GE Capital Aviation Services and AerCap Holdings would require doubling in size.

“We’ll be opportunistically waiting for the moment (for acquisitions). My feeling though is that moment to pounce will only come in scale at the next downcycle,” Slattery told Reuters on the sidelines of Euromoney’s Asia Pacific Airfinance Conference.

“So between now and then, Avolon will grow organically, which is in the region of $4 billion to $5 billion per year.”

The aircraft lessor has a balance sheet of almost $30 billion, Slattery said.

Dublin-based Avolon, a fully-owned owned subsidiary of Shenzhen-listed Bohai Capital Holding Co., which is part of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, has a portfolio of 915 owned, managed and committed planes catering to 151 airlines in 65 countries.

Slattery said he expected a flood of Asian capital to continue to supply the industry over the next three to five years because Chinese institutional investors and asset managers liked the risk/reward ratio of investing in aircraft.

“My opinion is we are several years away from a turn in the cycle,” he said, referring to the outlook.

Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Writing by Jamie Freed; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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