Former Ryanair deputy CEO & CFO Howard Millar has emerged as the CEO of Sirius Aviation Capital Holdings Limited (SACHL), a new Dublin-based narrowbody lessor that is looking to initially raise $250 million through a stock-market listing.

Millar is a Ryanair veteran, who spent 23 years with the Irish LCC working alongside CEO Michael O’Leary.

Millar left Ryanair in 2014, but continues to hold a seat on the airline’s board. He also holds board positions with Irelandia Aviation—the owner of Viva Colombia and Viva Peru—and Dublin-based ASL Airlines.

SACHL—the company Millar heads—will manage the assets of Sirius Aircraft Leasing Fund, a new Guernsey-based investment company.

On Oct. 8, Sirius Aircraft Leasing Fund announced plans for an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange, with the aim of raising $250 million to invest “primarily” in used single-aisle aircraft.

“The senior management team of the investment adviser [SACHL] have in excess of 80 years’ experience in aviation and have outstanding capability and contacts in this industry. Globally we intend to leverage this capability to access portfolios of in demand single aisle aircraft (with leases attached), principally from lessors disposing of older aircraft to maintain the average age of their fleet. We are currently assessing a number of attractive portfolios and anticipate that the funds raised will be deployed within six months of admission,” Millar said.

Sirius Aircraft Leasing Fund wants to create a portfolio of “attractively valued” narrowbodies that are already placed on lease, with the aim of delivering an 8% annual return for shareholders, rising to 10% over the long term.

The company believes there is a “liquid market” for used single-aisle aircraft, as traditional lessors dispose of older aircraft to maintain their average fleet age. In 2017, the major lessors sold over 300 aircraft worth $8 billion. “This leads to a steady supply of suitably diverse portfolios in terms of lessees and lease maturities,” Sirius Aircraft Leasing Fund said in its market disclosure.

Furthermore, airlines like International Airlines Group (IAG) and Lufthansa are tapping the cost savings of used-leased aircraft, it said.

Millar will be soon be joined by former KPMG Ireland senior tax partner Patrick O’Brien, who will serve as SACHL non-executive director and chairman. O’Brien, who specializes in aircraft leasing and financing, has previously worked with the Irish department of finance on legislative amendments to maintain Ireland’s position as a leader in the leasing sector.

Edward Coughlan will be SACHL CCO. Prior to co-founding SACHL, he was CCO of Seraph Aviation Management, which managed a $1.5 billion portfolio of leased aircraft for four different investors. From 2009 to 2015, Coughlan was SVP at Dublin-based lessor Volito Aviation. Before that, he was director of leasing at AerCap-owned engine-leasing company Aero Turbine.

SACHL chief investment officer Edward Hansom was also with Seraph Aviation Management from 2014 to 2017, leading aircraft-investment strategies and risk management. Before joining Seraph Aviation Management, he worked as an independent consultant and was CFO at leasing company GPA Group.

Kieran Ryan is SACHL’s CFO, joining the new lessor from Stellwagen Capital where he was CCO. Ryan was previously with Morgan Stanley, where he was head of European and emerging-market corporate acquisition financing.

Further details about the new lessor and the IPO are expected to be released in late October, ahead of the planned flotation in early November.

Victoria Moores