Cinven, CVC and Oakhill exit Avolon

The three PE firms will realise their remaining investment in the aircraft leasing firm through its acquisition by Bohai for $7.6bn.

Cinven, CVC Capital Partners and Oakhill Capital Partners will fully realise their investment in aircraft leasing company Avolon through the sale of their remaining stakes to China’s Bohai Leasing Company.

Bohai, which is part of HNA Group, is acquiring 100 percent of the Dublin-based company for $7.6 billion, equivalent to $31 per common share, Cinven said.

Both Cinven and CVC held a 17.3 percent shareholding following the initial public offering of shares in Avolon on the New York Stock Exchange in December. Both firms are understood to have made a 2.3x return on their investment.

Oakhill’s remaining stake in the company is understood to have been smaller. A spokesperson for the firm could not be reached for comment.

In 2010 the three private equity firms invested a combined $750 million of equity to found the company with an enterprise value of $1.4 billion, backing its management team lead by Domhnal Slattery, Cinven said.

Those initial investments of $250 million each were increased to $300 million, it is understood.

In 2011 Singapore’s GIC injected $300 million of equity into the company. The sovereign wealth fund is understood to have remained a shareholder post-IPO. A spokesperson for GIC could not be reached.

Cinven’s investment in Avolon was made out of its Fund 4, a €6.6 billion, 2006-vintage vehicle. The sale marks the firm’s second recent exit to a Chinese buyer. In July 2014, Cinven portfolio company Gondola sold UK restaurant chain PizzaExpress to Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital for £900 million ($1.4 billion; €1.2 billion), according to Cinven's website.

CVC invested out of CVC European Partners V, a €10.75 billion fund launched in 2008. It is the third sale by the CVC financial services team this year following its exit of Brit Insurance and Skrill Group.