Chinese Acquisition of Cirrus Completed

The Chinese have continued their expansion into the general aviation market with the completion of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company’s (CAIGA) acquisition of Cirrus Aircraft. Terms of the transaction were not released.

Cirrus announced the planned acquisition in late February, saying, “This transaction will have a positive impact on our business and our customers because we share a common vision with CAIGA to grow our general aviation enterprise worldwide.”

Cirrus President and CEO Brent Wouters today reiterated that, “CAIGA has the resources that will allow us to expedite our aircraft development programs and accelerate our global expansion.” Wouters has been optimistic that the acquisition also will help Cirrus bring to market its single-engine Vision Jet.

He also believes it will help the company infiltrate the Chinese market, where less than two dozen of the Cirrus aircraft had been based earlier this year.

Wouters reemphasizes that plans calls for Cirrus to continue production at its plant in Grand Forks, N.D., which employs 500 workers, as well as Duluth, Minn., where the final assembly plant is located. “Our partners at CAIGA understand the strength and the talent of Cirrus’s workforce,” he says.

Cirrus is one of the most dominant single-engine plane-makers, typically competing with Cessna Aircraft in terms of units sold. The company delivered 264 of its single pistons last year, in addition to 130 used models.

CAIGA President Meng Xiangkai, says Cirrus has “has a very strong record of consistent product excellence, comprehensive safety features, an outstanding management team and a highly skilled workforce who operate from advanced production facilities.”

CAIGA will work with the Cirrus management team to expand production volume, Xiangkai adds.

The acquisition was completed over the concerns of Minnesota politicians, who questioned whether the state-owned CAIGA would adapt some of the technologies for weapons systems and/or transfer work to China.

The acquisition, in the works for nearly two years before the deal was finalized, is the latest step the Chinese have taken to increase its reach into the general aviation market. Last year the Chinese purchased Teledyne Industries’ Continental Engine Co., along with the rights bankrupt kit plane producer Epic Aircraft.

 

-aviationweek.com

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