After roughly four years on the drawing board, Willis Lease Finance Corp. completed the first-ever term securitization backed by aircraft engine leases last week, pricing a $228 million senior/subordinated transaction via lead manager UBS. In addition to being the first aircraft lease ABS, Willis Engine Securitization Trust 2005-1 was the first operating lease asset transaction to price without a monoline surety wrap.

Structured in two tranches - $200 million of 6.5-year senior notes, rated Baa1 by Moody's Investors Service and A' by Fitch Ratings, which priced with a 125 basis point coupon over one-month Libor at 98.5 with a discount margin of 153 basis points over one-month Libor. Additionally, $28 million of subordinated paper rated Baa3' by Moody's and BBB' by Fitch was placed privately and no details were made available.

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