RBS Aviation Leasing Arm Sale Put On Ice

April 28, 2010

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Royal Bank of Scotland has put on hold the sale of RBS Aviation Capital, one of the world's biggest plane leasing businesses, seven months after starting a sale process, a person familiar with the matter said.

Part-nationalised RBS appointed Goldman Sachs in September to consider a sale or other options for the business, which is one of the top five commercial airline lessors, with total lending and owned assets of USD$12 billion.

But the bank was not looking to sell the unit at present, as the business should benefit from a cyclical pickup in the aviation industry in the future, the source said.

A spokeswoman for RBS said: "We have a significant number of transactions running and only conclude where we see value for our shareholders."

Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

RBS Aviation owns, manages or has orders for 372 aircraft and serves 100 airline customers in 38 countries, according to its website. It has a 90-strong team based in Dublin, London, New York, Hong Kong and several other cities.

RBS, 83 percent owned by the UK government, is being forced to sell a batch of 318 branches, its insurance business and several other assets by European regulators, but RBS Aviation is not one of them.