Aengus Kelly knows a bargain when he sees one.

The CEO of aircraft leasing company AerCap made his most audacious move yet in a career spanning more than two decades, when Kelly agreed on March 10 to buy General Electric’s jet-leasing business.

The deal doubles the size of Kelly’s company — already the world’s largest aircraft lessor — by relying on a familiar playbook: Pry a valuable financial asset from an owner with little use for it anymore or a desire to minimise financial risk.

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