AIG's Aircraft Leasing Arm Lands a $2 Billion Sale

Airplane for AIG aircraft leasing story
Airplane for AIG aircraft leasing story

An aircraft leasing arm of American International Group (AIG) snagged a deal to sell 53 airplanes to Macquarie Aerospace, in a deal worth nearly $2 billion, AIG announced late Tuesday night.

The sale comes as AIG is looking to get out from the government's watchful eye after Uncle Sam took a 78% stake in the company as part of a $182 billion bailout. AIG is apparently gearing up to pay back some of those loans via asset sales of $51 billion, so the plane sales are a mere blip in that effort.

Under the deal, AIG's International Lease Finance (ILFC) will sell the portfolio of planes through the rest of this calendar year to Macquarie Aerospace, an indirect subsidiary of Macquarie Group. AIG's leasing arm will get paid as each plane is sold.

"ILFC's ability to accomplish significant aircraft sales, together with our recent successes in the financial markets, where ILFC raised over $4 billion in new secured and unsecured financing, strongly demonstrates ILFC's ability to generate liquidity and de-lever its balance sheet," ILFC CEO Alan Lund said in a statement.

AIG may want to keep an eye on Macquarie's finances. The last thing it needs is a grounded deal.