AerSale Pushes Ahead With Merger
The coronavirus crisis has played havoc with merger and acquisition deals that were in the pipeline before the pandemic struck.
In South Korea, takeovers of Asiana Airlines and Eastar Jet by HDC and Jeju Air, respectively, have both failed to complete, while in Europe reports suggest that IAG has negotiated to buy Spanish carrier Air Europa for half its pre-COVID purchase price.
Valuations in the aftermarket have also taken a hit, with AerSale’s enterprise value falling from $430 million to $300 million under the terms of a revised merger with Monocle Acquisition.
Under the new deal, Monocle will still take AerSale public, but the aftermarket company’s owners will now only receive $76 million in cash, versus $250 million previously.
To sweeten the new deal, their share of newly issued common equity in the company will rise 42% to 56%, and from $150 million to $241 million.
Despite the revised offer, both Monocle and AerSale were effusive about the opportunities for the MRO, parts and leasing company during the crisis and beyond.
“This trough represents a buying opportunity we have been waiting a decade for—since the financial crisis of 2008—to acquire mid-technology aircraft that feed our Asset Management Solutions business,” said AerSale chief executive Nicolas Finazzo.
Finazzo also noted a new “unanticipated and highly profitable source of business” in storing aircraft, with 500 aircraft at its facilities to date.
“Storing these aircraft gives us a significant competitive edge as we look to acquire new feedstock with lower acquisition, transition and logistics costs, and decreased time-to-market,” he added.
Monocle, meanwhile, highlighted that AerSale had stayed cashflow positive throughout the crisis by adapting its offering to cater for the growing cargo market and for military customers, from which demand is largely unchanged this year.
“At a time when the passenger sector of the global aviation industry has been severely challenged by the pandemic, AerSale has benefited from its robust and growing participation in the cargo and military components of the market,” said Sai Devabhaktuni, chairman of Monocle. “These businesses have generated meaningful and rapidly growing revenue, especially as consumers have depended more heavily on e-commerce."