Desperate Evergrande sells Gulfstream to LA firm for under $40M

Aircraft was one of two offloaded by debt-burdened Chinese developer

Desperate Evergrande sells Gulfstream to LA firm for under $40M
Earth Air founder Andrew Lessman, with a Gulfstream G650ER plane (Gulfstream, EarthAir, iStock)

The Gulfstream G650ER is built to stay in the air a long time, which is something real estate giant Evergrande is struggling to do these days.

In an effort to pay off some of its debt, the Chinese developer parted with two of its private jets, including a G650ER to a Los Angeles–based company.

Earth Air, backed by private aviation investors, purchased the 5-year-old ultralong-range aircraft late last month, according to the Wall Street Journal. The firm paid slightly less than $40 million for the 15-passenger jet, adding it to a portfolio that already included two similar Gulfstream jets.

Earth Air doesn’t plan to hang on to the jet for long. The Journal reports that the aircraft reseller has already listed the private jet for $43.9 million, looking for a quick, profitable flip. The plane reportedly includes a lounge, refrigerator and oven.

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A different California-based company, Aviation Sales Associates, snapped up a different former Evergrande jet for about $15 million, according to the Journal.

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The list price for the G650ER is $66.5 million, but used ones are on the market starting at $39 million. 

Meanwhile, Evergrande is looking to convert more of its toys to cash with the sale of an Airbus ACJ330 widebody jet stationed at Hong Kong International Airport. The developer spent more than $220 million on the 40-passenger jet several years ago.

Evergrande made two overdue bond-coupon payments in October around when the sale of both jets closed. The payments helped the company avoid defaulting, though it is nowhere near clear of heavy turbulence.

The Chinese developer, which had almost $300 billion in liabilities at the end of June, has been ordered by the government to de-leverage. The problem grew so unpalatable to Chinese officials that they reportedly pushed founder and chairman Hui Ka Yan to use his personal wealth to pay off some of the debt.

Several key dates loom, according to the Journal. A 30-day grace period for overdue payments affecting $148 million of Evergrande bonds ends Thursday, CreditSights reports.

[WSJ] — Holden Walter-Warner