China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (CAIGA) has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Cirrus Industries, manufacturer of the SR20 and SR22.
This is just the latest in a series of announcements by the Chinese company of deals to buy American companies: Last year it successfully bid on the assets of bankrupt Epic Aviation; it also has entered into deals to buy Teledyne Continental Motors and Emivest Aerospace, the maker of the SJ30 business jet.
Adding Cirrus to its portfolio would bring the Chinese company one of GA’s most popular brands. Over the last decade the Duluth, Minn.-based company has delivered nearly 5,000 piston airplanes. For nine years in a row, the Cirrus SR22 family of aircraft has been the best-selling four-place airplane in the world, according to company officials. The company now has a jet under development.
“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,” said Brent Wouters, Cirrus’ president and CEO. “CAIGA brings new resources that will allow us to expedite our aircraft development programs and accelerate our global expansion.”
To allay fears of lost jobs, Wouters said “CAIGA understands the strength and the talent of Cirrus’s workforce and the prominence of the Cirrus brand in general aviation. Through this transaction, CAIGA will invest in our employees in both Minnesota and North Dakota by committing to the continued use of our world-class production facilities.”
“CAIGA is dedicated to being an international leader in the provision of general aviation products and services, and light piston aircraft is one of CAIGA’s business focuses,” added Meng Xiangkai, CAIGA’s president. “We are very optimistic to begin our partnership with Cirrus and add Cirrus’s strong brand as the cornerstone in our aviation product portfolio. We are deeply impressed with Cirrus’s performance in the global general aviation industry, especially with its consistent product performance, comprehensive safety features, outstanding management team, highly skilled employee base and advanced production facilities as well as its expanding global footprint. We look forward to working with Cirrus’s management team to build upon Cirrus’s proven success and to further expand production volume in order to cement Cirrus’s existing leadership position in the global general aviation industry, as well as to produce greater job opportunities in Duluth and Grand Forks.”
The transaction is expected to close around mid-2011. The acquisition of Cirrus by CAIGA is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and by the U.S. Government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), as well as obtaining all relevant Chinese Government Approvals.
For more information: CirrusAircraft.com