The size of UAE diversification vehicle Mubadala Investment Company’s aerospace interests has reached at least $8 billion, with $1 billion in leased engines and components under management at unit Sanad Capital and a further $7 billion in Sanad Aerotech agreements with Rolls-Royce and GE for engine maintenance.
Mubadala’s aerospace company portfolio includes five elements: the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park in Al Ain, MRO SR Technics, in which it owns a minority stake, empennage manufacturer Strata, a stake in XO, the on-demand bizjet charter provider managed by Dubai-based Vista Global Holdings, and Sanad.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala, Sanad announced the creation of the new group in 2019. According to Mubadala’s website, it consists of three distinct businesses: Sanad Aerotech, an MRO solutions provider for aircraft engines; Sanad Capital, an aviation leasing entity specializing in spare engines and aircraft components; and Sanad Powertech, an energy and industrial MRO service provider.
“Since the launch of Sanad as a group at the Dubai Airshow in 2019, we have seen many benefits of the integration that remains on track to complete in 2021,” Sanad Group CEO Troy Lambeth told AIN. “We’re excited about how that has positioned the group to offer a catalog of options for our customers ranging from time and material to full-scale integrated asset management solutions that leverage our 30-plus years of technical services experience at Sanad Aerotech & Powertech, and our 12-plus years of asset management and financing experience at Sanad Capital.”
The overall size of the Sanad portfolio stood at $1.2 billion in assets across the group (including spare engines and components) as of November 2021, Lambeth said.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation MRO and leasing sectors in 2021, he said Sanad hit several new milestones over the past two years, including its 100th MRO induction and expansion to full MRO capability on the GEnx engine. During the same period, Sanad added its 9th GEnx and its first XWB to its spare engine leasing portfolio and closed a new $100 million revolver credit facility with First Abu Dhabi Bank.
“We are excited to add the LEAP to our engine MRO capabilities at Aerotech within the next 12 to 24 months,” he said. “In 2022, Sanad is positioning itself to expand further into the industrial services sector in areas where we can leverage our deep experience in asset management, finance, and technical services. It is an exciting time for us as we look and position towards the future.”
In the teeth of the Covid-19 slowdown, Lambeth said Sanad spent much of its resources working with customers to help them preserve cash through the first several months of the pandemic, when most of the uncertainty prevailed.
“As a result, our customers were better positioned to survive and ultimately to revisit and reshape long-term support agreements where required,” he said. “Sanad enjoyed strong financing support from all of its banking partnerships throughout 2020 and 2021, including new revolver credit facilities, to ensure the group was well-positioned to support operations throughout the downturn.”
Strata CEO Ismail Abdulla told AIN the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted global supply and tested the company’s resilience in delivering on one of its most important projects to date.
“Our paramount focus was to ensure the safety of our colleagues while we continued to operate daily to meet our customers’ demands,” he said. “During the pandemic, we continued our record of onboarding new manufacturing lines as we commenced working on our largest production line, the Boeing 787 vertical fin. Unfortunately, the first delivery took place at the most challenging time for the industry. Nevertheless, we committed back in 2006 when we signed the contract with Boeing—and delivered on our commitment in 2020.”