Aero Vodochody to include Avioane Craiova into regional holding

Czech company Aero Vodochody, which is the future majority shareholder of Romanian aircraft maker Avioane based in the southern city of Craiova, plans to set up a holding of aviation companies from Central and Southeastern Europe, with this being one of the main arguments for its acquisition of the Romanian company.
Czech company president Igor Hulak told the Business Standard daily that his company’s longterm goal is to build an aviation holding for Central and Southeastern Europe, with a view to strengthening the company’s position in the aviation structures market and to getting involved in interesting projects, as the main suppliers of sub-assemblies.
Aero Vodochody was named the winner of a tender to take over the Romanian aircraft maker in the first half of this year and, according to chairman of the State Assets Realization Authority (AVAS) Teodor Atanasiu, the privatisation contract should be signed by Sept. 14 or else the Authority plans to resume the privatisation process.

Aero Vodochody officials say the negotiations with AVAS are currently under way and that they have encountered no difficulties so far. “We seek to keep on and further develop the aeronautical production portfolio of Avioane Craiova company”, Hulak said.
He said the Czech producers had experienced a similar situation to the one the Craiova-based company is in; he explained that his company before being privatised in 2006 had been making nearly 40 million euros in losses, with revenues amounting to 126 million euros. Two years on, in 2008, the company eyes 10 million euros in profit, with revenues standing at 192 million euros.
“Avioane Craiova, the same as Aero Vodochody, should undergo a competitive restructuring process, focused on the improved efficiency and the improved technological capacities”, Hulak stressed.
The AVAS chairman told the Business Standard that he was expecting the Czechs to sign the privatisation contract and that he excluded any other incentives in the case of the privatisation of Avioane Craiova.
Avioane Craiova SA was set up in 1972. It is the only producer of defence aircraft in the Romanian aviation industry and of training plane IAR 99 Hawk compatible with the NATO standards.
The company can carry out vehicle maintenance and repair, it can make metal constructions and components.
AVAS registered three offers for the acquisition of 741,339 shares accounting for 80.9778% of Avioane Craiova’s share capital. The companies interested in the privatisation of the company were Alenia Aeronautica S.A. Italy, INAV S.A. Bucharest and Aero Vodochody.
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