Airlines put Arinc up for sale

 - September 18, 2006, 5:18 AM

The airlines that own Arinc are said to be interested in selling the 77-year-old aviation communications company, and the reasons are purely economic. Arinc posted impressive revenues of $890 million last year, but its owners, including financially troubled Delta and American, are reluctant to make necessary investments in the company. No potential buyers have come forward yet, according to people with knowledge of the divestiture plans, but Arinc is thought to be worth as much as $1 billion.

Subsidiary Arinc Direct provides maintenance and flight-planning services to business jet operators, as well as the SkyLink high-speed-data communications system flying on Gulfstreams. Arinc is also involved in a project with Norway’s Telenor to bring cellphone calling to airplanes. Called AeroMobile, the service will soon be offered as a factory option on Boeing widebodies and could find a ready market among business aircraft buyers. Analysts predict Arinc will be sold off in pieces.