Onex Pays $165M for BBAM Stake

Onex Corp. will pay $165 million to take a 50% interest in BBAM, a manager of commercial jet aircraft. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year. Onex will acquire a 35% interest in BBAM from BBAM’s management team and a 15% interest in BBAM from FLY Leasing Limited.


Onex Corporation (“Onex”) (TSX:OCX) today announced that it has agreed to acquire a 50% interest in BBAM, the world’s third largest manager of commercial jet aircraft, for $165 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2012 subject to certain conditions and approvals.

Onex will acquire a 35% interest in BBAM from BBAM’s management team and a 15% interest in BBAM from FLY Leasing Limited (“FLY”) (NYSE:FLY), a leading global lessor of commercial jet aircraft managed by BBAM with 110 aircraft on long-term operating leases to 53 airlines in 29 countries.

Onex and BBAM management will also invest a further $25 million in newly issued shares of FLY at $11.41 per share. In total, FLY will receive approximately $75 million in pre-tax gross proceeds from the sale of its interest in BBAM and the issuance of new FLY shares.

“We’re very pleased to be partnering with Onex given its track record and experience in our industry,” commented Steve Zissis, Chief Executive Officer of BBAM. “With Onex’ backing, we intend to strengthen our market presence, including in particular our unique 26-year partnership with Nomura Babcock & Brown in Japan, while at the same time accelerating growth at FLY.”

Colm Barrington, Chief Executive Officer of FLY, said, “These transactions will generate both significant unrestricted cash for new investments and produce gains on the sale of FLY’s investment in BBAM.”

“BBAM is a unique platform in a market we followed closely for several years. We see great opportunity ahead with Steve and his team at BBAM,” said Tawfiq Popatia, an Onex Principal.

About Onex

With offices in Toronto, New York and London, Onex is one of the oldest and most successful private equity firms. Onex acquires and builds high-quality businesses in partnership with talented management teams. The Company has approximately $14 billion of assets under management, including $4.8 billion of proprietary capital, in private equity, credit securities and real estate. Onex invests its proprietary capital directly and as a substantial limited partner in its Funds.

Onex’ businesses have assets of $39 billion, generate annual revenues of $34 billion and employ approximately 235,000 people worldwide. Onex shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the stock symbol OCX. For more information on Onex, visit its website at The Company’s security filings can also be accessed at

About BBAM

BBAM is a leading player in commercial aircraft leasing, financing and management providing over 200 airline customers in more than 50 countries with fleet and financing solutions over its 20+ year history. In addition, BBAM provides asset management services to leasing companies, aviation investors and financial institutions covering more than 450 aircraft valued in excess of $13 billion. For more information about BBAM, please visit its website at

About FLY

FLY is a leading global aircraft lessor. FLY acquires and leases modern, high-demand and fuel-efficient commercial jet aircraft under multi-year operating lease contracts to a diverse group of airlines throughout the world. For more information about FLY, please visit its website at

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to known and unknown uncertainties and risks, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated or implied by such forward-looking statements. Onex, BBAM and FLY are under no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein should material facts change due to new information, future events or otherwise.