Thursday, October 18 10:34:36
Half of the world's commercial airline fleet will be managed from Dublin following one of the biggest merger deals in recent Irish history that was signed off on today.
Dublin today received a major boost after it became one of the biggest centres for aircraft leasing following the E5.8 billion acquisition of Dublin-based SMBC Aviation Capital by a consortium led by Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).
The consortium also includes Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing, and Sumitomo Corporation. SMBC Aviation Capital is the world's fourth largest aircraft leasing firm by owned and managed fleet and its presence here adds significantly to Ireland's cluster of aircraft leasing companies; 50pc of the world's commercial aircraft fleet is now managed from Ireland.
Separately, IDA Ireland has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SMBC to promote communication and business exchange between Ireland and Japan. SMBC has had a presence in Ireland since 1989 through its subsidiary, Sumitomo Mitsui Finance Dublin Ltd. This presence has been further enhanced with the acquisition of SMBC Aviation Capital and the recent opening of a Technology Development Centre of Japan Research Institute- America (JRIA) in Tralee.
The deal will see two sister businesses, based in Amsterdam; SMFL Aircraft Capital Corporation and Sumisho Aircraft Asset Management. The enlarged entity will be globally headquartered in Dublin.
The move will boost SMBC's fleet size by nearly 100 planes to 331 and its asset value by $2bn to $10bn.
It will make the company the third largest of its kind; behind global leaders Shannon- based GE Capital Aviation Services and Los Angeles-head-quartered International Lease Finance Corporation.
Speaking earlier today, Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan said today's launch of SMBC Aviation Capital here in Dublin is excellent news for Ireland's International Financial Services Sector.
"As a result of the acquisition the company will remain headquartered here and now has an extremely strong foundation from which to grow the number of its employees, the size of its portfolio of aircraft, and its customer base of airlines and investors around the world. I wish SMBC every success with this venture and offer the continued support of the Irish Government into the future."
Barry O'Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland said Ireland's reputation as a global leader in the aircraft leasing sector has been heightened today as a result of this launch.
"The increased presence of SMBC in Ireland also adds to the cluster of high profile Japanese companies that have chosen Ireland as a base for their overseas operations including Alps, Fujitsu, Takeda, Trend Micro and Gala. In addition, by signing the MoU between IDA Ireland and SMBC we hope to open the doors to attract further Japanese investment into Ireland. Ireland is well positioned to offer Japanese corporations the advantages of an attractive tax regime, a pool of talented resources and a pro-business environment," he said.