Irish plane leasing firm Avolon’s IPO priced at $20/shr-Reuters

(Reuters) – The initial public offering of Ireland’s Avolon Holdings IPO-AVOL.N was priced at $20 per share, an underwriter said, valuing at $1.6 billion the world’s ninth-largest aircraft leasing firm by assets.

The IPO of 13.6 million shares, priced below the expected range of $21-23, raised about $272.7 million.

Shares of Avolon, which was founded by leasing entrepreneurs Domhnal Slattery and John Higgins in 2010, are expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

The company filed for a New York listing in June, only to be approached by China Investment Corp and Chinese state aerospace firm AVIC Capital.

Confirming an earlier Reuters story, AVIC said last week it had cancelled its approach after the Irish company turned down the offer.
Selling stockholders, including private equity firms Cinven Ltd, CVC Capital Partners Ltd and Oak Hill Capital Partners and the Singapore government, are selling all the shares, according to a regulatory filing.

Leasing is playing an increasingly visible role in the $100 billion-a-year new jetliner market as the industry prepares to double its fleet size in 20 years.

Companies hope to capitalize on growing interest in aviation from longer-term investors such as insurers and pension funds, who are hoping to boost yields.

A successful float would expand a quartet of New York-listed pure-play aircraft lessors with a combined market value of $16 billion: AerCap Holdings NV, Air Lease Corp, Aircastle Ltd and FLY Leasing Ltd.