Shares of billionaire Steven Udvar-Hazy’s latest jetliner leasing venture, Air Lease Corp., rose modestly in their first day of trading Tuesday, following an initial public offering that raised roughly $803 million for the Century City company.
The company's stock opened at $27.25 on the New York Stock Exchange and ended the day at $27.98, up 5.5 percent from Monday's IPO price of $26.50.
The company on Monday sold 30.3 million shares – 5.3 million more than anticipated – under the NYSE ticker symbol AL.
Udvar-Hazy launched Air Lease, where he is chairman and chief executive, in February 2010 after departing International Lease Finance Corp., the aircraft leasing giant he also helped found in 1973 and sold to AIG in 1990.
He left International Lease Finance after a dispute stemming from the government’s takeover of AIG. Air Lease now has a fleet of 46 new and used commercial jet aircraft and anticipates growing its fleet to about 100 planes by the end of the year. The company reported revenue of $58 million and a net loss of $52 million last year.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Ares Management, Leonard Green & Partners L.P and financier Wilbur Ross hold stakes in Air Lease, and Udvar-Hazy himself has a 6.7 percent stake. None of the early backers sold shares in the IPO.
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