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SMBC Aviation sees more consolidation in aircraft leasing

Illustration shows SMBC Aviation Captial logo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The head of SMBC Aviation Capital on Tuesday predicted more mergers and acquisitions in the aircraft leasing industry, weeks after completing the purchase of smaller rival Goshawk Aviation.

"There has always been M&A activity in our space ... but I do think over the next number of years you'll see more of that because the level of relevance and scale is tipping up over the years," Chief Executive Peter Barrett told the Airline Economics conference in Dublin.

SMBC last month completed the purchase of Goshawk for an enterprise value of $6.7 billion.

Barrett did not say whether SMBC, the world's second largest lessor by number of aircraft, would be involved in the next stage of consolidation.

Standard Chartered bank said last week it intended to explore options, including a potential sale, for its aviation finance unit.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Mark Potter)