Final bids for RBS Aviation Capital, the aircraft leasing business being sold by Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, are due in early December, a person familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires on Monday.
Four bidders remain in the auction process including China Development Bank Corp., people familiar with the situation said. Wells Fargo & Co., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and a consortium led by Macquarie Group are also in the final stages, one person added.
RBS Aviation, of Dublin, Ireland, one of RBS' largest noncore assets, is the world's fifth-largest plane lessor by fleet value and also has an attractive order book, having re-entered the new aircraft market last year. It was created through a 2001 acquisition of a small advisory firm and built into a business that is now made up of a fleet of around 250 aircraft.
The auction is being run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and the business is valued at between $6 billion and $8 billion. RBS expects to select a preferred bidder early next year.
RBS, 83%-owned by the government, had a series of bailouts in 2008 and 2009, and is now selling and running off assets not considered crucial to its future business. Earlier this month, RBS executives said the bank is on track to meet its 2011 target for noncore disposals, though its chief executive, Stephen Hester, said tougher economic and market conditions mean selling prices have come down.