GATX Sells Aircraft-Lease Business

The company is selling the $1.5 billion business to a consortium of investors.
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GATX

(GMT)

has agreed to sell the majority of its aircraft leasing business, the assets of which represent $1.5 billion in net book value.

A consortium of investors that includes Macquarie Bank and funds affiliated with Och Ziff Capital Management will acquire GATX's wholly owned aircraft and will seek to acquire assets within the aircraft leasing joint ventures managed by GATX. The deal is expected to close by year-end.

GATX expects the sale to result in an after-tax charge of $50 million to $70 million in the third quarter but eventual cash proceeds of $500 million.

The transportation company has been in the commercial aircraft leasing business since 1968, and these air assets -- leasing and aircraft -- represent about 21% of its total assets.

"We believe that the sale of this platform to MALL

Macquarie Aircraft Leasing Limited will enable GATX to realize greater value for our shareholders than we could realize from continuing to own the business and will position GATX to pursue opportunities in our higher return rail and specialty businesses," CEO Brian A. Kenney said.

Shares of GATX were up $1.53, or 4%, at $40.16 in recent trading.