Carlyle Aviation Partners is flying in the face of conventional wisdom by acquiring Fly Leasing for an enterprise value of $2.4 billion. The $17.05 price per share pegs the equity value at just over $500 million for the heavily indebted company.
With the acquisition, Carlyle will add a fleet of 84 aircraft to its portfolio, representing a very bullish outlook on the future of aviation. While most investors now believe that leisure travel will return to pre-COVID levels fairly quickly, they’re far more pessimistic on the future business travel.
Many believe that Zoom will replace business trips for short meetings and possibly even conventions, dimming the future of the aviation business. However, Carlyle appears to have a much more optimistic view.
RBC served as advisors to Carlyle on the deal while Goldman Sachs advised Fly Leasing.