Natixis Investment Managers has acquired a minority stake in specialist aircraft lease and asset management firm Airborne Capital.
The stake was acquired for an undisclosed sum from the existing shareholders, comprising Airborne’s founding management team and FEXCO, Ireland’s largest privately owned financial services company.
The deal provides Airborne with access to a worldwide asset management platform which will help to accelerate its plans to grow the business to have aircraft assets under management of over $5bn within the first 5 years of operations. The transaction enables Natixis Investment Managers to continue to expand its expertise in alternative investments, specifically real assets.
Airborne was launched in November 2017 by a management team with over 100 years of combined experience in aviation finance, including with Natixis, one of the leading banks in aviation financing, where Ramki Sundaram, chief executive officer of Airborne Capital, was previously global head of Aviation.
The company’s strategy is to assist capital providers looking to invest in an emerging asset class in an environment where the aviation industry is set for rapid growth in fleet size, and traditional sources of bank finance are reducing.
The asset class is mobile and global by nature, and the two primary investment themes feature either the pursuit of stable long-term returns with high yield underpinned by contracted cash flows or the pursuit of a higher return strategy based on opportunistic investments driven by market dislocations.