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| 21 May, 2018

Dubai Aerospace signs $480mln loan deal

The $480mln loan, which includes both conventional and Islamic finance tranches, has "accordion facility" allowing it to be increased to $800 mln.

Close-up of American dollars.

Close-up of American dollars.

Getty Images/Tomasz Zajda

DUBAI- Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), one of the world's largest aircraft lessors, said on Monday it had signed a four-year loan deal for $480 million.

DAE, a government-controlled company set up in 2006, has become one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors after acquiring Dublin-based AWAS last year.

The acquisition tripled the Dubai aircraft leasing and maintenance company's portfolio to about 400 aircraft worth more than $14 billion.

The $480 million loan, which includes both conventional and Islamic finance tranches, has a so-called "accordion facility" allowing it to be increased to up to $800 million.

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With the loan, the company's unsecured revolving credit facilities increase to between $1.125 billion and $1.445 billion, depending on final size of the latest deal, Firoz Tararpore, DAE's chief executive, said in a statement.

"On a pro forma basis as of December 2017, if this facility is fully drawn and if the proceeds are used to pay down secured indebtedness, DAE’s percentage of unsecured debt would increase from 26 percent to a range of 31-34 percent."

Last year, the company issued $2.3 billion in senior bonds split across three tranches last year, partly to finance the AWAS acquisition.

Tarapore told Reuters in an interview last week that DAE was in talks to buy a near-record total of 400 jetliners from Airbus and Boeing in an order that could be worth more than $40 billion at list prices. 

Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait coordinated the latest loan deal and was also the lead arranger and joint bookrunner together with First Abu Dhabi Bank, while Noor Bank joined the deal as lead arranger.

(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((Davide.Barbuscia@thomsonreuters.com; +971522604297; Reuters Messaging: davide.barbuscia.reuters.com@reuters.net))