Hong Kong Billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s CK Asset To Sell Aircraft-Leasing Businesses For $4.3 Billion To Carlyle

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s CK Asset is selling its aircraft-leasing businesses for $4.3 billion to Maverick Aviation, which is managed by Carlyle Group’s commercial aviation investment and servicing arm.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of next year, Carlyle said in a statement.

The Hong Kong property developer said the aggregate profit arising from the sale is estimated to be $170 million, according to a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange Friday.

“Covid-19 has caused a paradigm shift in the aircraft leasing sector. The risk and return dynamics has become volatile and unpredictable, and the industry has undergone increased consolidation, mergers and acquisitions activities to mitigate such volatility,” CK Asset said in the filing. “Following an internal consolidation of the Group’s aircraft leasing business, the Group considered it an opportune time to exit the aircraft leasing sector and enhance its strategic focus during the pandemic.”

The acquisition will help Carlyle “enhance our capabilities” for airline customers and benefit all investors, William Hoffman, chairman of Carlyle Aviation Partners, said in a statement.

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As civil aviation recover from the pandemic, aircraft leasing is “well placed to prosper, professional services firm KPMG said in a December report.

CK Asset maintains interests in hotels, property development and property management. In 2018, Li retired as chairman of CK Asset and CK Hutchison, which has businesses in ports, retail, infrastructure, energy and telecommunications. He remains as a senior advisor to both companies; Li’s elder son Victor took the helm as chairman of both companies. The senior Li, 93, is No. 1 on the Hong Kong Rich List this year with a net worth of $35.4 billion.

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