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Washington, DC, United States - David Denison, President and CEO of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board testifying before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. The hearing covered Foreign Government Investment in the U.S. Economy and Financial Sector. This is the first time a representative from the CPP has testified on Capitol Hill. (Credit Image: © Louie Palu/ZUMA PressLouie Palu/The Canadian Press

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will provide at least $266-million (U.S.) to help fund expansion at AWAS, a Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm.

CPPIB already owns 16 per cent of AWAS and the investment will increase its stake to 25 per cent.

The CPPIB says the aircraft leasing firm's plan to grow comes at an opportune time.

"CPPIB's latest investment in AWAS demonstrates our long-term approach to investing in businesses throughout economic cycles," said André Bourbonnais, senior vice-president for private investments at CPPIB.

"We are delighted to help fund AWAS' acquisition strategy at what we feel is an attractive point in the aviation cycle to invest."

The pension fund manager's stake could increase beyond 25 per cent because it has committed a further $200-million that AWAS could draw on at a later date.

The CPPIB invests surplus money from employer and employee contributions that aren't required to pay current retirement benefits.

It's latest investment in AWAS is part of $529-million that is being provided by a group of investors to fund the aircraft leasing company's expansion plans.

Private equity firm Terra Firma is providing $246-million and will hold a 60-per-cent stake in the company and other investors will provide another $17-million and take a 15-per-cent stake in the company.

AWAS has a fleet of over 200 commercial aircraft on lease to more than 90 customers in approximately 45 countries.

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