Stonepeak’s US$893.5 Million Syndicated Aircraft Loan Securitisation

Maples and Calder acted as legal counsel to Stonepeak, while SALT 2021-1 Trust was represented by Allen & Overy and the co-lead initial purchasers by Milbank.

On 18 October, 2021, Stonepeak, a leading alternative investment firm specialising in infrastructure and real assets, closed its inaugural aircraft loan securitisation transaction, SALT 2021-1. 

Notably, the transaction is the aviation sector’s first broadly syndicated aircraft loan securitisation and its success looks set to open up another new channel of financing for the sector.

SALT 2021-1 featured the issue of US$893.5 million of notes by SALT 2021-1 Trust , making it the biggest US aviation securitisation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The transaction utilised elements of a traditional aircraft ABS structure and rating methodology, but also adopted CLO technology to offer investors enhanced structural features and protections. The notes are backed by a portfolio of loans secured by 156 aircraft on lease to 45 lessees across 29 jurisdictions, none of which are more than 16 years old. The loan portfolio is comprised of 26 facilities containing 116 loans to 15 obligors, including both aircraft leasing companies and airlines.

SALT 2021-1 represented the successful refinancing of the first joint investment made by Stonepeak and Bellinger Asset Management since the launch of the firms’ aviation investment platform in May 2021. Funds managed by affiliates of Stonepeak and Bellinger retain the equity in the transaction, and an affiliate of Bellinger acts as servicer for the loan portfolio.

The Maples and Calder team was led by Donna Ager (Picture), Partner and head of the European Aviation practice and Jonathon Meloy, Partner and co-head of the Cayman Islands Asset Finance practice. The deal team also featured Patrick Rosenfeld, Partner in the Cayman Islands investment funds group; Anthony Philp, Partner in the Cayman Islands finance group; William Fogarty, Partner in the Dublin tax group; and Associates Eoin O’Leary, Karla Macken, Ed Rhind and Krista-Lynn Wight. The Group’s fiduciary team comprised Vice Presidents Patrick Kenny and Ciaran Madigan.

Involved fees earner: Edward Rhind – Maples and Calder; Donna Ager – Maples and Calder; William Fogarty – Maples and Calder; Karla Macken – Maples and Calder; Jonathon Meloy – Maples and Calder; Eoin O’Leary – Maples and Calder; Anthony Philp – Maples and Calder; Patrick Rosenfeld – Maples and Calder; Krista Wight – Maples and Calder;

Law Firms: Maples and Calder;

Clients: Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners;

Sonia Carcano

Author: Sonia Carcano