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Ireland reborn as air leasing giant

AerCap's takeover of ILFC may pave way for IPOs

[SHANNON, Ireland] Twenty years after the spectacular collapse of Irish tycoon Tony Ryan's plane leasing empire, the Emerald Isle has restored its grip on the world's aircraft fleet with a mega-merger that could pave the way for a wave of multi-billion-dollar initial public offerings (IPOs).

The US$5 billion takeover of US leasing giant ILFC by AerCap, a firm that emerged from the ruins of Mr Ryan's pioneering Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA), is set to send ownership of its fleet of 1,000 jets to Shannon, a small town in the west of Ireland where GPA pioneered the plane leasing industry in the 1980s.

A disastrous bet on an airline boom that was cut short by the Gulf War led to GPA's effective collapse...

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