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REFILE-UPDATE 1-China's Bohai Leasing to buy 20 pct of Avolon for $429 mln
July 14, 2015 / 5:43 AM / 2 years ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-China's Bohai Leasing to buy 20 pct of Avolon for $429 mln

(Corrects spelling to Avolon in 8th paragraph)

* Bohai to offer $26/share, 14.5 pct premium

* Deal gives parent HNA access to aviation leasing market

* Needs Bohai shareholder approval

July 14 (Reuters) - China’s Bohai Leasing Co Ltd on Tuesday said it has agreed to buy 20 percent of U.S.-listed Avolon Holdings Ltd for $429 million, in the latest acquisition by a unit of aviation and shipping conglomerate HNA Group.

The purchase would be HNA’s biggest in logistics since the $1 billion buy of marine container leasing firm GE SeaCo in 2011, and would provide access to a global aircraft leasing market dominated by GE Capital and AerCap Holdings NV.

“This investment in Avolon will bring Bohai an increasing presence in the global aircraft leasing sector and Bohai will have a strong interest in benefiting from Avolon’s profitable growth,” Chief Executive Chris Jin said in a statement.

Shares of Bohai were up 10 percent in Tuesday trade - the highest daily trading limit for Chinese stocks - versus a 2 percent gain in the broader market.

Chinese lessors, mostly backed by state-owned banks, have been expanding in recent years, as large carriers such as Hainan Airlines Co Ltd, Air China Ltd, China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd and China Southern Airlines Co Ltd opened more routes at home and overseas.

Aircraft maker Boeing Co estimated China will need over 6,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years.

Bohai parent HNA owns miscellaneous shipping and aerospace companies including Hainan Airlines, and has been buying logistics and hotel assets to expand globally.

Avolon sells aircraft leasing and lease management services to airlines and aircraft investors. The Dublin-based firm has a fleet of over 260 aircraft serving 56 customers in 33 countries.

Those customers include American Airlines Group Inc, Air France KLM SA and Ryanair Holdings PLC.

Bohai’s cash tender of $26 for each Avolon share represents a 14.5 percent premium to the stock’s volume-weighted average price last week, and a 30 percent premium to its initial public offering price of $20 in December, according to a joint statement from Bohai and Avolon.

The offer is open to all Avolon shareholders and will be launched at the end of this month after approval from Bohai’s shareholders, the pair said.

The directors of both companies support the deal, the pair said.

Previously, sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp partnered state-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China to explore a take over of Avolon, but ended talks in October. (Reporting by Fang Yan and Matthew Miller in BEIJING; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Christopher Cushing)

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