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ILFC Focused on Speedy Sale to China Group, CEO Courpron Says

International Lease Finance Corp., the plane-leasing unit of American International Group Inc., said it remains intent on completing its delayed sale to a Chinese group for about $4.2 billion.

“We are doing everything we can to reach a speedy conclusion,” ILFC Chief Executive Officer Henri Courpron said today in an interview. “But complicated deals take time.”

Courpron stocked up on smaller jets earlier this month at the Paris Air Show and today was in Seattle, where ILFC was taking delivery of a wide-body Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner to be leased to Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA. Los Angeles-based ILFC is the largest customer for the Dreamliner, with orders for 74 of the composite-plastic planes.

While talks are under way with planemakers about the Airbus A350-1000, Boeing’s 777X wide-body and the newest Dreamliner variant, “it doesn’t mean we’re about to announce a deal,” Courpron said. “For us to announce an order for airplanes that are scheduled for delivery in more than five years is not really a priority.”

AIG said last week that it was open to new offers for ILFC after a group of investors, led by New China Trust Co. Chairman Weng Xianding, missed a second deadline to complete a deal. The New York-based insurer revived plans June 21 for an initial public offering of ILFC.

ILFC is buying 300 planes over the next five years, including 50 narrow-body Airbus A320neos ordered at the Paris event.

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