Case Studies

Restructuring of Aircraft Lessor for Secured Lenders

Alton’s value to clients is derived from hundreds of years of industry and consulting experience. The selected case studies demonstrate some of our team’s capability.

Restructuring of Aircraft Lessor for Secured Lenders

Founded in 1990, Nordic Aviation Capital became the largest player in the regional aircraft leasing sector, including turboprops and regional jets. With a diverse portfolio and a global customer base, NAC enjoyed steady growth for decades. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 severely impacted the aviation industry, leading to plummeting demand for air travel, grounding of fleets, and financial strain on airlines and lessors, including NAC.

Our Approach

Alongside other legal and financial advisors, the group of creditors in NAC’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy were advised by Alton, with assets valued well in excess than US$6 billion, included BNP, Deutsche Bank, Development Bank of Japan, Export Development Canada, Investec, JP Morgan, Korea Development Bank, MUFG, New York Life, and Silver Point Capital together with other lenders under syndicated facilities.

The secured financings included direct loans, finance leases, JOLCO financings and Export Credit supported financings, and were associated with a fleet of 190 regional jet and turboprop aircraft.

At the conclusion of the restructuring, some aircraft remained within the NAC group on restructured terms while other aircraft transitioned to the control of creditor groups who elected to exit from the NAC business.

The scope of Alton’s mandate was broad and included but was not limited to:

  • Independently assessing the lessee credits, leases, and assets of the aircraft and leases that formed collateral for the lenders
  • Performing grounded cash flow forecasts and valuations of the aircraft
  • Evaluating the new management team’s business plan and strategy
  • Advising clients on the merits of equitizing or exiting
  • Selling seventeen aircraft across two JOLCO financed silos
  • Working on multiple negotiations, amendments and new financing structures
  • Identifying, soliciting bids, and negotiating terms from alternative servicers and corporate service providers for exiting silos
  • Supporting the transitioning of aircraft to new servicers
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Successful Outcome

By undertaking measures to address the unique situations associated with each asset, lease, and debt silo, NAC’s secured lenders advised by Alton each maximized their recoveries amidst the challenging circumstances.