Bartercard Seeing Many
More Big Ticket Items
Planes, castles, boats
and Rolls-Royces � are starting to turn up for sale in trade
exchanges such as Bartercard. It is a sign of the times.
�When we started in
1991, we described barter as a recession buster,� recalled Wayne
Sharpe, founder of Bartercard, the largest barter exchange in the
world. In this 21st century recession, barter has come into its own.
Sharpe, chairman and chief executive of Bartercard International,
jokes that he now has enough aircraft to start an airline on barter.
More seriously, he says
it is time to set up a specialist division to deal with aircraft
sales and leasing. The man behind the implementation of these
aircraft deals is none other than Laurie Muir who heads up the
Bartercard Pattaya office, but whose experience with Bartercard
started some 12 years ago as their Global Marketing Manager.
�We are acting as broker
for 15 aircraft on our books on behalf of an international aircraft
leasing company, financiers and airlines,� Muir noted. Among the
planes is a fleet of five Boeing 737-800s, until recently leased to
an Asian regional airline. The airline returned the fleet to the
leasing company as financial problems started to bite.
�These planes are
available on seven-year leases,� Muir affirmed.
The upper asking price
is $520,000 in cash and $82,000 a month in trade dollars. (Large
airlines will be able to negotiate the price down.)
Sharpe and his team are
talking to three British airlines that have shown interest in taking
over the leases for these planes. �This is work in progress. But I
hope that we could close the deal by the end of February. It will
require a lot of innovative thinking at board level to close the
airlines are still expanding. They are taking the opportunity in the
downturn to take over routes abandoned by their competitors. And in
Europe, irrespective of the economic climate, there are still a lot
of people who travel for business or leisure.�
Muir revealed that they
also have two brand-new Airbus A320 planes, right from the factory.
These are soon to be mortgage-in-possession sales as the airlines
canceled the orders. The asking price for the A320-232 is US$55-$60
million depending on cabin configuration and engine type.
Normally, it takes two
years to take delivery of a new Airbus plane, but these planes are
ready now, so this also makes it very attractive to airlines. The
price for these aircraft is negotiable, according to Muir, and most
of the planes listed with Bartercard will be sold or leased with a
20% barter component.
Wayne Sharpe explained
that companies, including airlines, use their trade dollars as
credit to offset operating expenses. For instance, airlines use
barter and cash to provide uniforms or accommodation for crew or
obtain wines for in-flight catering and so on. Airline tickets are a
keenly sought-after commodity among barter traders. �I can say that
the biggest demand is for travel, because a lot of businesses are
not prepared to pay cash for travel,� he declared. Packaged holidays
are also popular.
�We are being offered a
lot of opportunities as more companies start to look at barter as an
alternative way of doing business. We are seeing varied and unique