Leonardo buys Swiss Kopter and its SH09 light helicopter program

The announcement fell last week, at Heli-Expo in California: the Italian aeronautical group Leonardo has decided to acquire the Swiss company Kopter Group, formerly known as Marenco-Swisshelicopter and today run by a fund of investment held by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut. With just over 300 employees, Kopter is just a start-up compared to the Italian giant. However, this particularly innovative Swiss company had a strong argument: its new SH09 light helicopter, which should therefore be included in Leonardo's catalog.

Leonardo will spend at least $ 185 million on this purchase, but a ten-year earn-out clause should no doubt lead the Italian group to pay larger sums (up to $ 500 million) on the success of SH09. is there. For Leonardo, such a transaction is seen as an alternative solution to the in-house development of a new light single-line helicopter that would have cost just as much, but imposed several years of development, where the SH09 has been flying since 2014 and ends its development.

The Kopter SH09 has decidedly elegant lines, and seems to display excellent performance for a device in its class

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