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Press Release


April 20, 2016

Airfinance Journal has recognized seven aviation finance transactions on which Pillsbury lawyers advised as 2015 Deals of the Year.

The magazine’s annual awards program seeks to acknowledge the individuals and companies behind the year’s largest and most complex aviation finance transactions. This year’s winners were honored at a special ceremony on April 18 in Miami, Florida.

The award-winning deals on which Pillsbury advised in 2015 were:

  • Editor’s Deal of the Year: Listing of AA4+ on the LSE specialist fund market
    Represented Emirates, as the Lessee, in connection with the London Stock Exchange listing on the specialist fund market of Amedeo’s Guernsey-based aircraft acquisition and leasing investment company, Amedeo Air Four Plus. The capital raise was then used to finance four A380’s on lease to Emirates. The innovative structure of the transaction could represent a new source of funding for the aircraft finance sector. The team was led by partner Graham Tyler.

  • European Deal of the Year: DVB Bank’s debut securitization
    Represented Goldman Sachs, as lead arranger and joint bookrunner, in the issuance of $667M A, B and C tranche 144A debt issuance  of a $667M A, B and C tranche 144 A debt issuance by AIM Aviation Finance Limited. The firm also acted for BNP Paribas as sole placement agent for the equity. This was the first ABS transaction for DVB and is affiliated parties. The team was led by partners Mark Lessard, Harsha Reddy and David Baxter.

  • African Deal of the Year: Ex-Im Bank rand financing for Comair
    Represented Nedbank, as lenders, on the financing — guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States — of four new 737s for South African low-cost carrier Comair. The rand-guaranteed facility allowed Comair to match its loan repayments with its rand revenue streams, mitigating foreign currency risk. The team was led by partner Paul Jebely prior to his joining Pillsbury in March 2016.

  • Latin America Deal of the YearLatam’s inaugural EETC
    Represented Natixis, as liquidity provider and depositary, on the first-ever EETC issuance from Latin America and one of just a few non-U.S. EETC issuances. It was also the first EETC to combine two jurisdictions. The team was led by partner Mark Lessard.

  • Sale and Lease back Deal of the YearNew form of financing for Emirates’ A380.
    Represented Emirates on an innovative structured sale/lease back of an A380. In conjunction with German arranger EMP Structured Assets and Irish aircraft financier Aviation Finance Company, The deal included a traditional senior loan, a pari-passu senior tranche and a 40% Islamic mezzanine tranche that used a Murabaha commodities facility to maintain compliance with Islamic law. The team was led by partner Graham Tyler.

  • Capital Markets – EETC Deal of the Year: Turkish Airlines’ yen-denominated EETC
    Represented Turkish Airlines on the financing of 3 new Airbus A321 aircraft. The transaction marks the world’s first Japanese Yen denominated Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificate transaction. The team was led by partners Charlotta Otterbeck and Daniel Richards.

  • Tax Lease Deal of the Year: Turkish Airlines’ U.S. Ex-Im-supported French tax lease
  • Represented Turkish Airlines in the U.S. Ex-Im Bank-supported Japanese Yen-denominated financing of a new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The deal is reportedly the first yen-denominated French tax lease supported by U.S. Ex-Im. The team was led by partners Charlotta Otterbeck and Daniel Richards.

"To have been involved in so many of Airfinance Journal’s award-winning transactions is a tremendous honor,” noted Pillsbury transportation finance team co-leader Mark Lessard. “It is also a testament to the talented group of lawyers we’ve put together and the outstanding results we collectively strive to deliver for our clients.”

Practice team co-leader Graham Tyler added: “2015 was a year of unprecedented growth for our practice and early indications are that it will be more of the same in 2016. These latest recognitions only serve to support Pillsbury’s growing reputation as one of the premier global aircraft finance law firms.”

Pillsbury is a leader in the field of structuring, negotiating and executing transactions involving all classes of moveable capital assets, with particular emphasis on aircraft and other aviation equipment. In the last decade, the firm’s attorneys have assisted clients in the financing or refinancing of more than a thousand commercial and corporate jet aircraft with an aggregate value of more than $50 billion.

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