Rolls-Royce has announced the sale of its 23.1% shareholding in AirTanker Holdings Limited to Equitix Investment Management Limited for cash proceeds of £189million ($261.14 million).
The sale includes the repayment of shareholder loans and accrued and deferred interest of approximately £47m ($64.9 million), subject to any routine closing adjustments and before transaction costs.
AirTanker Holdings Limited is a joint venture with Airbus, Babcock, and Thales. AirTanker owns 14 A330-200 Voyager aircraft which are powered by Trent 772B engines, a derivative of the Trent 700 engine.
The Voyager aircraft support air-to-air refuelling, air transport and ancillary services for the UK Ministry of Defence is operated by AirTanker Services Limited. The company has stated that it will continue to be a 23.5% shareholder of the Voyager fleet and provide servicing and maintenance for the fleet of Rolls-Royce engines that power the Voyager aircraft to support the Royal Air Force.
"We are honoured to power the Voyager fleet. Through our continued ownership position in AirTanker Services, the Royal Air Force can rely on us to support its mission critical operations with our Trent 700 derivative engines. The sale of our shareholding in AirTanker Holdings is another important step towards achieving our Group target to generate at least £2bn from disposals, as announced last year, to help rebuild our Group balance sheet in support of our medium-term ambition to return to an investment grade credit profile." Stated Tom Bell, President Rolls-Royce Defense.