Sumitomo Mitsui to Boost Plane Fleet 20% in Three Years
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316) aims to expand Asia’s largest aircraft-leasing fleet by about 20 percent, targeting regional growth by building on a $7.3 billion purchase of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS)’s aviation unit.
Japan’s second-biggest lender by market value, in combination with trading company Sumitomo Corp. (8053), will boost the fleet to 400 planes in three years, from about 335, Hiroshi Minoura, deputy president of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., the lead arranger of the RBS deal, said in an interview on July 2.
Revenue from aviation leasing may rise to $800 million in three years, and $1 billion two years later, from $700 million, he said. Sumitomo Mitsui is targeting the Asia-Pacific region for growth, which is set to buy the most airplanes of any region over the next two decades.
“Asian aviation demand is expanding at an amazing pace and low-cost carriers are increasing dramatically,” he said. “We want to take a chunk of that growing market. The combined fleet will give us great economies of scale.”
The financial group, which renamed RBS’s aviation unit SMBC Aviation Capital, will merge it with SMFL Aircraft Capital Corp. within a year and tie up with Sumitomo’s aviation unit Sumisho Aircraft Asset Management BV, which owns and manages about 90 planes. Sumitomo Mitsui Finance & Leasing Co. owns a 60 percent stake in SMBC Aviation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking holds 30 percent, and the remainder is held by Sumitomo.