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Sumitomo Mitsui plans to add 91 planes to fleet of SMBC Aviation Capital bringing total fleet to 331 aircraft by merging other Sumitomo units Back
October 14th: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation plans to merge its aviation divisions with SMBC Aviation Capital, the former RBS Aviation Capital, to propel the Dublin-headquartered company to be the third largest plane-leasing operation globally, after GECAS and ILFC.
The merger will consolidate the assets of two Sumitomo Mitsui companies in Amsterdam adding some $2 billion in aircraft assets to SMBC’s portfolio in Dublin, bringing its assets managed there to $10 billion. Subject to regulatory clearance, SMBC is set to merge with Amsterdam-based SMFL Aircraft Capital Corporation and Sumisho Aircraft Asset Management.

Sumitomo plans to increase the unit's fleet size to 331 planes by combining it with existing Sumitomo lessors. The move will make SMBC Aviation the world's third-largest plane lessor.

Ahead of the merger, SMBC Aviation Capital owned and managed 240 aircraft valued at over $8 billion operated by customers in over 40 countries. 'We are committed to developing and growing our business and have made commitments to purchase a further 75 aircraft worth over $4 billion from Airbus and Boeing in the coming years', according to the company.

SMBC chief executive Peter Barrett said the transaction was a 'positive development' and would make it the number three aircraft leasing company in the world.

'We believe that there is likely to be further consolidation in the aircraft leasing industry in the future and this will help to position us to take advantage of that trend,' he said.

He added that SMBC is hoping to add 10 to 12 new positions to its operation in Ireland as the business continues to grow. It had 69 staff at the time of its acquisition by Sumitomo.

'We have a simple, but effective strategy of focusing on the most modern, efficient and desirable aircraft types and work closely with our airline and investor customers to meet their individual requirements', according to the company.

After a lengthy trade sale process that began in 2011, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. unit in June acquired Dublin-headquartered RBS Aviation Capital, with a fleet of 203 aircraft, for $7.3 billion from Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc and renamed the company SMBC Aviation Capital.

The plan will be officially announced on Monday October 15th alongside the launch in Tokyo of SMBC, which has been rebranded after its acquisition earlier this year by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation of Japan for $7.3 billion from Royal Bank of Scotland.

All three entities have the same ultimate parent company, but have operated separately from each other until now.

The merger will result in the number of owned and managed aircraft in SMBC’s portfolio increasing from 240 to 331.

Speaking in Tokyo, where he is attending the annual meetings of the IMF and the Wiorld Bank, the Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said: 'Japanese interests hold a lot of assets abroad and we have a lot of assets for sale, so we would hope that this would be a forerunner of other things.'
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