Air Transport World

Portfolio partners

If turf battles can be settled, British Aerospace and Saab may become global managers of new and used regional aircraft

British Aerospace Asset Management and Saab Aircraft Finance Corp. are analyzing their respective regional aircraft portfolios and product-support divisions to determine what, if any, synergies exist now that parent BAe has announced plans to acquire a 35% stake in Saab from Swedish conglomerate Investor AB.

Key reason behind BAe's $460 million shareholding in Saab is to strengthen its own defense and space-related business. Since 1983, BAe and Saab have worked together on fighter aircraft and guided-missile programs. Nevertheless, BAeAM has a strong interest in the exposure and potential rewards of the asset management of Saab's turboprop products, which independent lessors say are far more viable in the used-aircraft market than BAeAM's Jet-stream 31s/41s and ATPs. Secondly, all of BAeAM's 146s are on long-term leases and a new challenge is needed if BAeAM is to remain in the good graces of its parent company, which continues to look for ways to cut costs.

"I think there is a certain logic to Saab and BAeAM joining together," said William H. Buckland, chairman of MCC Aircraft Leasing. …

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