BAE Systems completed its $187 million sale of its regional aircraft, asset-management business on July 15, marking the official launch of a new leasing entity known as Falko. Supported by affiliates of funds managed by Fortress Investment Group LLC, a global investment management firm with some $43 billion of assets under management, Falko enters the market with a portfolio of 143 aircraft, making it the second largest regional aircraft lessor in the world.
Over the past 18 years, the team has negotiated more than 1,800 commercial aircraft transactions valued at more than $3.1 billion, and has customized and delivered some 750 aircraft.
“Our management buy-in team not only fully understands this business, but also the sector in which it operates,” said Falko CEO Jeremy Barnes. “We have a different mind-set for this business and, together with the existing operating team we will work to maximize the value in the portfolio…We also have a strong growth plan and will leverage the proven and successful asset-management platform to build a long-term business.”
The Falko portfolio consists of 103 BAe 146/Avro RJ regional jets, and 40 ATP and Jetstream family turboprops, all manufactured by BAE Systems. The support and engineering businesses of BAE Systems Regional Aircraft will continue to provide original-equipment-manufacturer services to Falko, which becomes its biggest customer.
Falko employs about 70 people and maintains its headquarters in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK. It also employs personnel located in Farnborough, UK; Herndon, Va.; as well as in Latin America and the Far East.
Falko expects one of its first transactions to involve the sale of a 50-seat Bombardier Q300 turboprop on behalf of Royal Air Maroc. Announced last Tuesday, the mandate adds a new type to the Falko portfolio. Along with its core offering of BAE 146/Avro RJs, Falko carries another 37 aircraft available for sale or lease under third-party remarketing mandates.