State-owned China Aviation Industry Corp. is preparing to acquire a foreign general aircraft manufacturer, with the deal expected by the end of the year, reports said Tuesday.
AVIC also is planning to list shares in the “near future,” the state-run newspaper China Daily and other reports cited the company’s president, Tan Weidong, as saying.
Tan, who spoke on the sidelines of China‘s International Aviation & Aeospace Forum in the southern city of Zhuhai, did not identify the target of AVIC’s acquisition plan, but the company has been mulling an overseas acquisition for years.
Five Kiran MK 2 from Indian Air Force Suryakiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) aircrafts fly over two J-10 aircrafts from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army air force a day before the opening of the 7th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, southern China’s Guangdong province, Monday, Nov. 3, 2008.(AP Photo/EyePress)
Last year, the company reportedly approached Dutch industrial engineering company Stork NV, whose aerospace unit was acquired in 1996 from longtime aircraft manufacturer Fokker, about buying its aerospace division.
In the end, U.K.-based private equity group Candover Investments PLC acquired Stork.
Staff at AVIC’s headquarters in Beijing said officials authorized to speak to media about the report were not immediately available for comment.
AVIC plans to develop 10-, 20- and 30-seat business jets and hydroplanes, as well as large passenger jets, Tan told reporters in Zhuhai. Zhuhai, site of the country’s annual international air show, would become AVIC’s base for research and development, final assembly and test flights, according to the report.
China recently merged its two major aircraft makers, AVIC I and AVIC II, to help consolidate aviation manufacturing. China Aviation Industry Corp. is parent to six new companies set up to manage the various businesses run by AVIC I and AVIC II, which include airplane engines, helicopters, transporters, general aviation, airborne systems and aviation trade, the report said.
AVIC I and AVIC II, both originally units of China’s military aviation manufacturer, had been split into separate companies in 1999.
Meanwhile, reports cited Miao Wei, vice minister of industry and information technology, as saying that China’s first domestically produced large jet will hit the market between 2015 and 2020.
“We will finish the concept design and research on key technologies before 2010 and have the first plane roll off the production line before 2014,” state-run media quoted Miao as saying.
Miao said the aircraft would have at least 150 seats.