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Maples Group Supports Falko on Inaugural ABS Transaction

28 Apr 2021

The Maples Group is pleased to have supported market-leading aircraft operating leasing and asset management company, Falko Regional Aircraft Limited (Falko), on its inaugural aircraft securitisation (ABS) financing transaction, Regional 2021-1.  The Group's global aviation team has unique capabilities and expertise when it comes to supporting the ABS market and in this transaction, a cross-jurisdictional team of lawyers provided Cayman Islands and Irish legal advice and the Group's fiduciary services team assisted with corporate and directorship services and regulatory compliance in the Cayman Islands, Delaware, Ireland and London as well as acting as share trustee to the issuer.  

Notably, this is the first ABS transaction completed since the COVID-19 pandemic that is exclusively secured by regional aircraft assets.  Regional 2021-1 totals $255.0million of Class A asset-backed debt and is the core element to a refinancing package for an aircraft portfolio of 39 regional jet and turboprop aircraft on lease to up to 12 operators in multiple jurisdictions and is funded by the Falko Regional Aircraft Opportunities Fund and its co-invest vehicle.  

Donna Ager, Partner and Head of the European Aviation team at the Maples Group noted: "We assembled a multi-disciplinary and cross-jurisdictional team of lawyers and professionals to seamlessly support our longstanding client Falko on their debut aircraft ABS.  Despite a particularly challenging year for the industry, we are delighted to see that the aircraft ABS market is showing such optimism and we look forward to continuing to work with Falko in the months ahead." 

Sarah Dichlian, Chief General Counsel, at Falko Regional Aircraft Limited, also commented: "We are very pleased to have completed this significant regional aircraft financing transaction together with the Maples Group.  We have worked with the Maples Group on a number of deals and it is particularly satisfying to have structured and documented a transaction in this challenging time for the aviation sector.” 

The legal team was led by Donna Ager, Partner and Head of the European Aviation team, Jonathon Meloy, Partner and Co-Head of the Asset Finance practice in the Cayman Islands and Finance Partner, Anthony Philp.  The team were assisted by Finance Associates, Edward Rhind (Cayman Islands) and Alex Walsh (Ireland).

The Group's fiduciary team comprised Global Head of Fiduciary, Stephen O'Donnell, Senior Vice Presidents, Jeffrey Everhart (Delaware), Sean O'Sullivan (Ireland), Sam Ellis (London) and Phillip Hinds (Cayman Islands) as well as Vice President, Linval Stewart (Cayman Islands).

Allen & Overy LLP acted as lead counsel to Falko and Milbank LLP acted as lead counsel to the ABS investors.

The Maples Group's global aviation team advises clients who are historically active in the ABS space as well as newer sponsors and servicers on their debut deals.  The Group has unique capabilities and expertise, often advising on both the Cayman Islands and Irish legal aspects, as well as acting as managing agent and providing independent directors, co-issuer services in Delaware and share trustee services in the Cayman Islands.   


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Asset Finance

Advising on the laws of the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Ireland, Jersey and Luxembourg, our global Asset Finance team provides expert legal advice on the utilisation of special purpose vehicles in asset financing structures as well as export credit agency supported transactions and commercial bank deals.  

In addition, we specialise in the registration of aircraft and security interests over private aircraft and corporate jets in the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg, as well as the registration of vessels in the BVI, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.