In The Works: VisionAire Vantage

 - May 29, 2008, 7:37 AM

Last year, VisionAire of Chesterfield, Mo., signed a contract with Israel Aircraft Industries for the Tel Aviv OEM to conduct a nine-month technical assessment of the single-engine Vantage VA-10. Although not yet completed, the assessment has confirmed that the redesigned VA-10 (with some minor modifications) will meet its performance numbers, according to Jim Rice, chairman and CEO. Although much detail design work still needs to be done, Rice said this third-party confirmation of the Vantage has provided the information the company’s investment bank needs to seek the additional funds, in the range of $100 to $150 million, that VisionAire requires to bring the project to fruition. “Our banker has identified a capital interest, an institutional fund that has not been active in aviation before,” said Rice. The investor is considering a strategic alliance with VisionAire, under which it would acquire a 10- to 20-percent minority interest in the company. Rice said a decision might be forthcoming before the end of last month.