Alafco Plans London Listing to Expand Aircraft Leasing Business

Kuwaiti aircraft leasing company Alafco is awaiting approval from the country’s capital market authority to list as much as 30 percent of its shares as global depository notes in London, the chief executive officer said.

The company has hired Deutsche Bank AG to manage the sale on the London exchange’s secondary market and plans to be ready by the second quarter of 2014, Ahmad Alzabin, vice chairman and CEO of Alafco Aviation Lease and Finance Co., said in an interview in Doha today. The general assembly of Alafco has approved the listing and the company is seeking backing from the authorities “very soon,” he said.

“We are an international leasing company and therefore our work scope is not limited within the boundaries of Kuwait. We do leasing for aircraft worldwide,” Alzabin said. “There’s still demand for this kind of investment. It will be the right fit and we believe this will expose us to international investors looking to invest within Kuwait market.”

Alafco has no plans for new aircraft orders, Alzabin said. It has 117 planes on its order book including 85 A320neos, 20 737 Max, and 12 A350-900s. It will take delivery of these starting in 2017 until 2022, he said. From 2014 until 2017, Alafco is planning to acquire a number of aircraft on a sale and leaseback basis from the market, with a strategy for 10 aircraft each year, he said.

The capital raised from the London listing will be used to grow the operations, increase the fleet and seek more deals, Alzabin said.

“Everything we’re going to raise is at the end of the day going to be used in our core operations, which is buying aircraft and leasing them out to customers,” he said.

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