Emirates Investment and Development company (Emivest) will invest about $1 billion (3.678 billion dirham) in a US-based light executive jet manufacturer after acquiring it in June.
The new cash injection will enable Texas-based Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corporation (SSAC) to design and develop its second executive jet, Emivest chairman Buti Saeed Al Ghandi told Gulf News in an interview. The Dubai investment firm owns 80% of SSAC, which makes the SJ30 business aircraft, advertised as “the world’s fastest, longest range and highest flying light jet.”
SSAC’s acquisition marked Emivest’s foray into the US and the first such deal in the aviation sector by a Middle East company.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews national security implications of foreign investments in US firms, cleared the deal in May. “Being part of Dubai gave us a lot of credibility when we moved towards this deal,” Al Ghandi said, but did not disclose the value of the investment citing confidentiality agreements. On the company’s further investment plans, he said: “We need between $700 million and $1 billion to start a different program.”
SSAC spent $700 million and 10 years to develop its first aircraft, which was exhibited at the Dubai Air Show in November last year. One aircraft belonging to Emivest will arrive in Dubai next month. The Middle East is seen as an important market for the SJ30 as strong growth has raised demand for business jets. The plane has a range of 2,500 nautical miles and can carry six passengers.
The aviation sector will be a new focus of Emivest’s new investments. The company plans to buy stakes in maintenance, repair and overhaul companies. (Gulf News)