Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee advises Sojitz Corporation in its investment into Keystone Holdings (Global) Pte. Ltd.

Our Singapore team advised SJ Aviation Capital Pte. Ltd., a Singapore based subsidiary of Sojitz Corporation, in its acquisition of a 50% equity stake in Keystone Holdings (Global) Pte. Ltd. ("Keystone").

Keystone is a company established by ST Aerospace Resources Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of ST Aerospace, the world's largest commercial airframe MRO provider and the aerospace arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, one of the largest companies listed on the Singapore Exchange.

Keystone is the holding company for aircraft leasing investments, currently holding subsidiaries in various geographies to support its portfolio purchase of aircraft on lease to global airlines. The investment allows the shareholders of Keystone to build up a portfolio of mid-life and end-of-life single-aisle aircraft assets. The agreement was signed on 16 February 2016.

To be finalised at completion, the consideration of approximately US$10.7m accounts for Keystone's current performance and net asset value. The completion of the agreement is subject to customary closing conditions that will lead to the execution of a joint venture agreement, following which Sojitz Corporation and ST Aerospace will continue their investment as 50/50 joint venture partners.

Commenting on the deal, Stephanie Keen, Singapore Managing Partner, said: "Hogan Lovells' Singapore office serves as the hub for our broader ASEAN practice and for over two decades we have advised clients in the region. This deal shows our breadth of expertise both in M&A and the aviation finance sector and our ability to deploy this knowledge for the benefit of our global clients".

Alexander McMyn, Hogan Lovells' Banking Partner, adds: "This is a significant deal as it reinforces Singapore's continued evolution into an aviation hub for Asia and demonstrates the continued attractiveness of aircraft as an investment class. This is all supported by the consistent growth in aircraft passenger numbers year-on-year in Asia".

The Hogan Lovells team was led by Singapore Managing Partner, Stephanie Keen, assisted by Corporate Senior Associate, Matthew Bousfield. Singapore Partner Alexander McMyn and Associate Kaveeta Sandhu advised on the aircraft aspects of the transaction.

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