PE-backed Porter may sell and lease back Toronto airport terminal: Reuters

(Reuters) – Porter Aviation Holdings Inc, the parent of upstart Canadian carrier Porter Airlines, said on Friday it was considering selling and then leasing back the passenger terminal it operates at Toronto’s Billy Bishop City Airport.

Closely held Porter Aviation said in a release that a deal would let it focus on its core airline business. Last year Porter Airlines unveiled a plan to more than double its fleet, with a conditional order worth up to US$2.08 billion for Bombardier Inc‘s new CSeries jets.

Porter said a deal would not change its operations, and it would still be based at the regional airport, on an island just off Toronto’s downtown core. The airport is owned and operated by the Toronto Port Authority.

The Wall Street Journal said the sale could bring in more than US$500 million, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Porter has been backed by private equity firms Edgestone Capital Partners, OMERS Strategic Investments, GEAMI, an affiliate of General Electric Co, and Dancap Private Equity since 2006.

(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Tom Brown)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of peHUB Canada)

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