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Photo: Nordic Aviation Capital

Singapore buys into Nordic Aviation Capital

The global aircraft leasing company adds a “new strong minority shareholder” to further support its growth ambitions.

Nordic Aviation Capital, one of the world’s biggest companies leasing aircraft for airlines, has revealed that a Singapore-based equity company is to become “a significant minority investor”.

GIC Private Limited, formerly known as the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, is a sovereign wealth fund established by the Asian city state in 1981 to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves. NAC describes it as a “leading long-term global investor with significant aircraft leasing experience”.

The transaction will comprise a partial sale by the existing shareholders and new capital to further strengthen Nordic Aviation Capital’s balance sheet, NAC says.

The Stockholm-based fund EQT VI will remain the largest shareholder, while Nordic Aviation Capital founder Martin Møller remains “a significant shareholder” and continues as its chairman.

Beyond turboprops
Since the partnership between Møller and EQT VI began in 2015, Nordic Aviation Capital has transformed from being a lessor focused on turboprop aircraft into “the world’s largest regional aircraft lessor” and the fourth largest commercial aircraft leasing company, NAC says, with more than US$4.5 billion invested in the business.

During that period, NAC has more than doubled its operating lease income and added more than 30 new customers.

Today it has a fleet of 468 regional aircraft, a total asset base of $8 billion and “is uniquely positioned to take further advantage of the market opportunities in the attractive regional aircraft space”.

“It is nearly three years since we partnered with EQT VI to support our growth strategy,” says Møller.

“Together, we continued our profitable growth and benefitted from the partnership’s global perspective, experience and financial strength. GIC brings further financial strength and commercial capabilities that will allow us to take advantage of expansion opportunities as they arise.”

GIC’s stated mission is to preserve and enhance the international purchasing power of its reserves, with the aim of long-term returns above global inflation over an investment horizon of 20 years. Its assets are estimated at US$359 billion.

In 2013, GIC implemented a new investment framework to give it more flexibility to focus on investments that may be riskier in the short term but would generate returns in the long-term.

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