Ex-Ryanair CFO Mil­lar plots $5bn air­craft play

Irish Independent - Business Week - - NEWS - John Mul­li­gan

FOR­MER Ryanair chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Howard Mil­lar has been ap­pointed chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of avi­a­tion man­age­ment ser­vices and fi­nance group Stell­wa­gen.

Mr Mil­lar will also be­come chief ex­ec­u­tive of its newly formed fi­nance arm, Stell­wa­gen Cap­i­tal.

Stell­wa­gen Cap­i­tal aims to raise $1bn (€886m) by the fi­nal quar­ter of 2016 that will be used to pro­vide fi­nance to air­lines buy­ing air­craft. It plans to raise $5bn over the next three years.

Stell­wa­gen Fi­nance, whose ceo is Doug Bren­nan, is a hold­ing com­pany whose di­vi­sions in­clude Dublin-based Avi­a­tion Fi­nance Com­pany. That unit was among the bid­ders for Sto­bart Air, the Dublin car­rier that op­er­ates the Aer Lin­gus Re­gional fran­chise.

Stell­wa­gen’s units also in­clude Ser­aph Avi­a­tion Man­age­ment.

As ceo of Stell­wa­gen Cap­i­tal, Mr Mil­lar will raise cap­i­tal from both debt mar­kets and large in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors, pri­mar­ily in Europe and the United States. This will en­able the group to pro­vide se­cured air­craft fi­nanc­ing to air­lines across the globe.

Speak­ing to the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent, Mr Mil­lar claimed the fi­nanc­ing model be­ing pur­sued by Stell­wa­gen for air­craft buy­ers would be the “op­er­at­ing lease killer”.

Stell­wa­gen will pro­vide debt fi­nance to air­lines that, un­like leases, al­lows them to even­tu­ally take own­er­ship of the air­craft.

Mr Mil­lar said Stell­wa­gen will raise the money as a 10-year loan note that will be listed on the Ir­ish Stock Ex­change. In­vestors will be paid a coupon likely to end up be­tween 4.5pc and 5pc on av­er­age. In­vestor road­shows are likely to start in Septem­ber.

In­sur­ance com­pa­nies in the United States have al­ready ex­pressed an in­ter­est, as has the Mid­dle Eastern mar­ket.

Mr Mil­lar re­mains a non-ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Ryanair, and is on the ad­vi­sory board of Ire­landia Avi­a­tion, the in­vest­ment arm of the Ryan fam­ily. He is chair­man of ac­coun­tancy firm BDO and a board mem­ber of Dublin-based air op­er­a­tor ASL Avi­a­tion.

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