Cerberus Sells Aircraft Company

Cerberus sold as many as 15 million shares in AerCap, an aircraft and engine leasing company, reducing its position by more than half. The move may reflect a desire to exit after holding AerCap since its IPO in 2006, much of the time at a substantial loss from the buy price.

Once the second largest shareholder, Cerberus went from 28.6 million shares as of June to 13.3 million shares as of September. It was reported that AirCap bought back 5 million shares from Cerberus in June.

The recent selloff apparently happened before AerCap announced the sale of its equity interest in Aircraft Lease Securitisation Ltd. to Guggenheim Partners this month. Aircraft Lease is a financial business that issues securities backed by aircraft rented to airlines. AerCap manages the aircraft rentals.

Leasing aircraft is seen as a business with growth potential but depends on demand for air travel, a cyclical market sensitive to economic downturn. AerCap stock plunged in the crisis and remains some 40% below the 2006 peak.

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