US-based Oak Hill Capital Partners has ordered six Boeing 777 freight planes valued at $1.4 billion (€1 billion), bolstering its existing aircraft portfolio and propelling the firm into the freight plane leasing business.
“This is an important component of Oak Hill’s overall aerospace investment strategy,” Rowan Taylor, a partner with Oak Hill, said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Boeing team to expand our aircraft portfolio.”
In the past three years, the Robert Bass-led firm has accumulated approximately 25 passenger aircraft, which are leased to airlines worldwide. More than half of those planes are Boeing 737s.
Oak Hill’s initial foray into freight plane leasing follows that of Guggenheim Aviation Partners, a division of financial services group Guggenheim Partners, and Fortress Investment Group, which manages hedge funds and private equity funds.
Guggenheim currently has more than 40 aircraft, many of which it converted from passenger to freight planes to meet global demand. (Boeing projects the global air cargo industry to grow by 6.1 percent annually, on average, for the next 20 years.)
In January, Guggenheim sold 38 aircraft from its debut aviation fund to Aircastle Limited, a publicly traded aircraft acquirer and lessor that is controlled by Fortress.
Oak Hill’s aerospace portfolio also includes air cargo service provider Cargo 360 and Primus International, a supplier of aircraft components, kits and assemblies.
Led by investor Robert Bass, Oak Hill manages more than $4.6 billion in capital. The firm has offices in Stamford, Connecticut, Menlo Park, California and New York.