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Czech firm buys Romanian aircraft builder

Aero Vodochody, a Czech-based maker of military training aircraft, has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Romanian competitor Avioane SA in a deal worth €16.3 million ($25.9 million), a news agency said Tuesday.

Aero beat bids by Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica and a Romanian company in the sale of 81% of Avioane’s share capital by the government agency privatizing Romania’s communist-era industries, the Mediafax agency reported.

Aero plans to pay €4.2 million for the shares, €3.3 million in cash and €8.8 million in investment, the report said. Based in the industrial center of Craiova, Avioane builds a military trainer in cooperation with Israeli company Elbit Systems.

Avioane, like Aero, made warplanes when both countries were part of the Soviet bloc, but the Romanian company, founded in 1972, has struggled financially in recent years. (m&