China aviation giant buys Irish firm Avolon

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A unit of the Chinese aviation and shipping conglomerate HNA is buying the Irish aircraft leasing firm Avolon Holdings for about $2.5bn (£1.6bn).

Bohai Leasing will pay $31 per share in the deal that includes the assumption of debt and has a total enterprise value of about $7.6bn.

The price is lower than the $32 discussed by the firms in August due to the "volatility" in the equity markets.

Chinese leasing firms have expanded as local carriers introduce more routes.

Most of them are backed by state-owned banks.

The two companies had been in negotiations about a deal since July and shares of Avolon have risen more than 20% since the talks began.

"We believe Bohai will enhance Avolon's profile, positioning and relationships in the Chinese aviation market - a market which we believe offers one of the most compelling growth opportunities in global aviation over the next two decades," said Avolon chairman Denis Nayden in a statement.

The Dublin-based company owned or managed 152 aircraft and had more than 100 more on order as of June.

Meanwhile, HNA is China's fourth-largest aviation group and has interests in airlines such as Hong Kong Airlines and Hainan Airlines.

The deal is expected to be finalised by the first quarter of next year.

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