Macquarie Bank will invest $US150 million ($200 million) for a minority stake in the aircraft leasing arm of New York listed transport group GATX Corporation.

Australia's largest investment bank has formed a consortium called Macquarie Aircraft Leasing Ltd that will pay $US1.46 billion ($1.95 billion) for San Francisco-based GATX Air.

The consortium also includes funds affiliated with Macquarie Bank and hedge fund giant Och-Ziff Capital Management Group.

GATX Corporation's sale of its aircraft leasing unit comes as the Chicago-based group seeks to expand its rail and specialty businesses.

GATX Air has about 60 staff in offices in San Francisco, London, Toulouse and Tokyo.

The GATX Air portfolio comprises 87 narrow body commercial aircraft including 38 wholly owned aircraft and 49 aircraft held in various joint venture partnerships, which are currently leased to 37 airlines in 23 countries.

Macquarie said the weighted average age of the fleet was approximately five years.

More than 80 per cent of the portfolio value is represented by Boeing 737-800s and Airbus A320s.

GATX Air has equity interests in 11 joint venture partnerships and also acts as manager of the aircraft owned by those partnerships while also managing several aircraft on behalf of third parties.

The sale is expected to be completed in the December quarter and is subject regulatory approvals.

Macquarie Bank shares lifted 82 cents to $69.15 on Friday.