Global Jet Capital to Acquire GE Capital’s Corporate Aircraft Assets

Oct 6 2015 | 7:46pm ET

Global aviation leasing company Global Jet Capital has signed an agreement to purchase approximately $2.5 billion in net assets from GE Capital’s Corporate Aircraft portfolio, with financing from Franklin Square’s BDCs integral to the transaction's funding.

The move is the latest in a series of recent steps from General Electric to divest from financial services businesses.

Based in Boca Raton, FL, Global Jet provides leasing and lending solutions for large-cabin, long-range private and business jets. In addition to assuming the aircraft loan and lease portfolio, GE Capital’s Corporate Aircraft team will join the Global Jet Capital organization, according to a statement.

Global Jet Capital was launched last year and is capitalized by investment funds managed by Franklin Square Capital Partners (sub-advised by Blackstone’s GSO Capital Partners), The Carlyle Group; and AE Industrial Partners. The firm’s principals are experienced executives from the business jet manufacturing, MRO, and financial industries that have completed an combined 3,500 aircraft transactions.

A portion of the financing for the portfolio acquisition was provided by business development companies managed by affiliates of Franklin Square, including FS Investment Corporation, FS Investment Corporation II, FS Investment Corporation III and FS Energy & Power Fund.

“This transaction is key to the execution of Global Jet’s growth strategy,” said Michael C. Forman, chairman and CEO of Franklin Square, in the statement. “We are pleased that the scale of our BDC platform enabled us to support Global Jet in an acquisition of this size.”

“We are investing heavily in growing the business both organically and through strategic acquisitions such as this one with GE,” said Shawn Vick, executive director of Global Jet Capital. “This is a prime example of our industry expertise and investment capital coming together to evaluate and identify an opportunity to expand the business in a disciplined, carefully measured way.”

Additional terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in stages over the next several months, subject to customary regulatory and other approvals.

Founded in Philadelphia in 2007, Franklin Square is a manager of alternative investment funds that provide access to asset classes, strategies and asset managers typically available to only the largest institutional investors. As of June 30, 2015, the firm managed approximately $16.8 billion in total assets, including $15.4 billion in BDC assets.

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