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Century City aircraft leasing firm files for public offering

ILFC

Century City-based aircraft leasing company International Lease Finance Corp. unveiled plans for an initial public offering, a move that would take the firm out from under the wing of parent company American International Group Inc.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, the leasing company known as ILFC said that “AIG has determined that ILFC is not one of its core businesses.”

AIG, the beleagured New York-based insurance corporation that received $182.5 billion in bailout money during the global financial crisis, said it would initially sell 20% of the leasing company and divest most of the unit over time.

The filing did not disclose how many shares would be sold or estimate their price, nor did it say when the stock sale would take place.

It marks the beginning of the end of AIG’s 21-year ownership role over ILFC. AIG bought ILFC in 1990 for $1.3 billion in a stock swap.

But now AIG has been selling off business units in an attempt to pay back the federal government.

In the past, AIG has hinted at selling the aircraft leasing company, known as ILFC, but has been unable to close a deal.

For decades, ILFC has been an industry leader in aircraft leasing -- the business of buying planes and renting them to airlines. But the company fell on hard times when AIG nearly collapsed in 2008, which pinned both AIG and ILFC under government control and placed restrictions on the amount of money executives could make.

That confinement caused a mass exodus of ILFC's management team. The biggest blow came in February 2010 when company co-founder and then-Chief Executive Steven Udvar-Hazy abruptly left to start a rival business, Air Lease Corp., also based in Century City.

In May 2010, Henri Courpron, a former Airbus executive, was named CEO.

ILFC remains one of the world's largest aircraft leasing firms with a fleet of 933 aircraft. The company posted $2.2 billion in revenue in the six month period that ended June 30.

RELATED:

AIG reportedly considering an initial public offering of aircraft leasing firm

Dogfight in plane leasing shapes up

International Lease Finance returns to buying passenger jets

-- W.J. Hennigan

Photo: ILFC Chief Executive Henri Courpron at the company's offices in Century City. Credit: Francine Orr/ Los Angeles Times

 
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