GATX Corporation announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell the majority of its aircraft leasing business to a consortium of investors including Macquarie Bank and affiliated investment funds of Och Ziff Capital Management Group. The transaction is expected to close by year end.

The consortium, Macquarie Aircraft Leasing Limited (MALL), will acquire GATX’s wholly owned aircraft and will seek to acquire assets within the aircraft leasing joint ventures managed by GATX.

GATX anticipates that the majority of the employees at its aircraft leasing business will accompany the assets to MALL. The air assets subject to the agreement with MALL, including GATX’s joint venture investments, total approximately $1.5 billion in net book value, or 21% of GATX’s total assets. After the required prepayment of air-specific debt and taxes, GATX expects cash proceeds from the sale, assuming all assets contemplated in the transaction are sold, to be approximately $500 million. (Reuters)