Bravia confident it will win fight for Allco (source: Airfinance Journal)

Aug 19, 2009

Bravia Capital Partners CEO, Bharat Bhise, is confident that Bravia will win the right to control Allco Aviation in the next two months. The battle to manage Allco’s aircraft portfolio is a lawyers delight. The fees must be rolling in as the preferred bidders, Bravia Capital Partners, and the receiver Ferrier Hodgeson, fight the lenders and Australian aircraft lessor Macquarie, to purchase Allco Aviation. Bravia has spent the last two weeks meeting with banks in Europe and Asia to get their approval to manage Allco’s portfolio of 68 aircraft, according to Bharat Bhise, CEO, Bravia Capital Partners. He is expecting to close the deal in the next two months. “We have put together a timetable to close in about 8 weeks.” Though frustrated by the obstacles obstructing a smooth takeover of the portfolio, Bhise remains confident Bravia will win the business. “We have approval for the business to move forward,” says Bhise. “We have the credit lines to move forward. We have the capital.” He adds that Bravia have a legal basis to takeover all 68 aircraft. Bravia has received approval from the state development and reform commission (SDRC) of the Chinese government. This will allow the Chinese money backing the deal to be released. But there is still the issue that the lenders have to sign a waiver so that Bravia will not be replaced as lease manager. The receiver, Ferrier Hodgeson, has already requested that the banks sign the document. Meetings in Asia and Europe last week between the lenders and buyers addressed the issue of the waiver should Allco default on a transaction. Bhise says that he has strong indications from at least 15 lenders that they will sign the waiver document. Moreover, within the next week Bhise expects that the purchaser will have 21 lenders backing their bid. “We’re going ahead. We recognize that some people haven’t signed up, but they’re in a minority.” When asked if Bravia would buyout some of the lenders from their investments, Bhise says: “Given the current environment of the credit markets, aircraft lenders have, by and large, warmly welcomed our willingness to discuss some pay downs post closing.” There is still the possibility that the portfolio will be split if the lenders cannot reach an agreement with Bravia. But Bhise refutes the idea that the portfolio will be broken up: “We might get it in stages, but we’ll get all of it.” The lenders can still mount a legal challenge on the aircraft for which they own a majority. Some lenders are not comfortable with Bravia managing the aircraft, as it has not been a traditional aircraft leasing company in the past. But Bravia has spent time hiring and putting together a management team. “We’ve picked up a fantastic management team,” says Bhise. During the last month, Bravia hired former Royal Bank of Scotland head of aerospace and defence Donal Boylan as marketing director and Bob Watson, who has 37 years of experience working with airlines, aircraft lessors and MROs, as technical director.