William Malcolm

HSC Aerojet Acquires Aero Vodochody

The sale of Aero Vodochody is completed. It now belongs to HSC Aerojet, in which the Hungarian financier Szalay-Bobrovniczky has a majority. A smaller share is owned by the Czech group Omnipol. Viktor Soton will take over the management of the company today, replacing Dieter John. Aero has so far been owned by the Penta group. Vodochody Airport is also part of the sale, Omnipol spokeswoman Marika Přinosilová told ČTK. Aero employs over 1,300 people and is the largest domestic manufacturer of aircraft technology.

The sale agreement was signed in July, and the transaction was also assessed by the Office for the Protection of Competition (ÚOHS), which allowed the entry of a Hungarian partner in August. Aero Vodochody. “Aero will continue to develop all three pillars of its business, which are the production and development of its own aircraft, as well as MRO orders for aircraft maintenance and repairs, as well as aerostructures production programs, ie the supply of aircraft components to domestic and foreign customers,” said Sotona. led the company Era, which manufactures and develops air traffic control systems. Under his leadership, the company achieved record sales and doubled the number of employees.

Aero Vodochody spokesman Tobiáš Tvrdík confirmed that Omnipol acquires a 20% stake in HSC Aerojet and an 80% stake will be controlled by a Hungarian group that has secured financing for its investment by the state-owned Hungarian Development Bank, which indicates Hungary’s interest in further cooperation. The Hungarian Development Bank has provided a loan of EUR 150 million. Aero was visited by a Hungarian delegation on Wednesday, and the Hungarian army has previously expressed interest in 12 L-39NG aircraft. Hungary gradually used all types of jets made in Aero.

Omnipol is a long-term partner of Aero responsible for business activities in a number of countries and since 2015 a strategic partner of the L-39NG project. Penta Aero has owned it for 14 years and acquired it during privatization. This year, Aero will start mass production of the new L-39NG aircraft. For example, it also has contracts for repairs and modernization of 35 L-39 and L-159 aircraft for customers in the Czech Republic and abroad. It also supplies, for example, the C-390 Millennium military aircraft, the Airbus A220 civil aircraft, the ST Engineering Aerospace company or the Aircraft Industries company for the Czech L-410 aircraft manufacturer.

“The development and preparation of the production of our own L-39NG aircraft, which to date have required over three billion CZK, were crucial for the development and future of Aero. Successful certification of the aircraft became the impetus for our exit from Aero. “said Penta partner Marek Dospiva to ČTK.

Part of Penta’s strategy was to expand Vodochody Airport for low-cost civil transport, but the new owner announced that he was withdrawing from this plan. The airport will thus continue to serve only the needs of Aero Vodochody, or the army, with which Aero has a signed contract on the possible use of the airport until 2026.

According to the latest published financial results from the previous year, the company made a loss, due, among other things, to significant investments in the certification of the new L-39NG aircraft. Operating loss before depreciation amounted to 383 million crowns, total revenues reached 2.9 billion. Aero has not yet published its results for last year. It originally assumed a return to profit, but partly due to the effects of a pandemic that stopped or significantly slowed down some transactions, according to preliminary estimates, the economy will again be loss-making, but the loss should be lower than in 2019.