The announcement fell last week at the Heli-Expo in California: the Italian aeronautical group Leonardo decided to acquire the Swiss company Kopter Group, formerly known as Marenco-Swisshelicopter and now run by a fund of investment owned 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 light helicopter SH09, which should therefore integrate the catalog of Leonardo.
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.
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