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Thu, Jan 27, 2011

Merger Creates New Commercial Jet Holding Company

Jetscape Aviation Company And M1 Tie The Knot

A new commercial jet holding company was created Wednesday when Jetscape Aviation Group completed a merger and restructuring transaction with M1 Commercial Jets, Ltd. (“M1CJ”). The Tortola based M1CJ was previously owned by M1 Leasing, a subsidiary of the private investment holding - M1 Group (“M1”).

Jetscape and M1CJ have successfully established a new holding company, Jetscape Aviation Group Ltd. (“JAG Ltd.”) based in the British Virgin Islands. JAG Ltd is now 57% owned by M1 Leasing, while Jetscape’s original shareholders maintain 43% of the holding. The shareholders have collectively subscribed to $37M in new equity capital.

The newly formed group will be run by Jetscape’s existing management team, lead by John Evans as Chairman and CEO, and will trade under the Jetscape brand. The JAG Ltd. Board of Directors will comprise four prior Jetscape directors along with five directors appointed by M1. As a result of the transaction, Jetscape has diversified its portfolio and the company’s capital base, revenue and earnings have more than doubled. With the merger, Jetscape has solidified its position as a global leader in the 70-120 passenger aircraft leasing market.

The combined group’s balance sheet will have approximately $560 million in total assets, $405 million in total liabilities and $155 million in shareholders’ equity.

JAG Ltd. owns and manages 35 aircraft on lease to 18 airline operators in 15 countries, including the ownership of 18 Embraer E-Jets on lease to 9 operators in 9 countries with a total average fleet age of less than 3 years. The group has a remaining firm order backlog with Embraer for four E-Jets, up to 10 purchase options and up to 10 purchase rights. All, but one, of the firmly contracted deliveries is committed for lease.

“M1 is a respected and successful global investor that brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and considerable capital resources to Jetscape," said John Evans, Jetscape’s Chairman and CEO. "The diversity of our shareholding group, which now includes our management team and high net worth investors from three continents, reflects the international market that we serve and remains a differentiating factor for Jetscape. In addition to their many investments, M1 is the largest private shareholder of Royal Jordanian Airlines (a Jetscape customer), thus a major contributor to Jetscape’s future success in the rapidly developing Middle Eastern and African aviation markets.”

FMI: www.jetscape.aero

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