Guggenheim Aviation eyes $600m for Fund II

Guggenheim Aviation Partners is on the fundraising trail for a follow-on vehicle that will continue the firm’s strategy of acquiring, converting and leasing aircraft.

Guggenheim Aviation Partners is seeking between $600 million (€466 million) and $800 million for a fund that will continue a strategy of acquiring and leasing aircraft, according to a market source.

Guggenheim Aviation Investment Fund II is a follow-on vehicle to one that was closed just last year with roughly $280 million in capital commitments. The firm is first approaching the investors in this first fund about new commitments.

Based in New York, Guggenheim Aviation is a division of Chicago- and New York-based financial services firm Guggenheim Partners.

The fund will continue to be led by Steven Rimmer, a former executive of aviation finance specialist Curtis & Company, which was acquired by General Electric.

Guggenheim Aviation typically acquires and then leases aircraft. Last July, for example, the firm purchased six Boeing 747-400ER Freighters valued at approximately $1.37 billion. Its first fund has acquired 43 aircraft to date. These have mostly been converted from passenger carriers into cargo aircraft and then leased out, according to the source. The aircraft will eventually be sold on an “opportunistic basis”, according to the firm’s Web site.