Chinese Aviation Conglomerate Acquires Cirrus Aircraft

 - July 27, 2011, 6:15 AM

China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga) of Zhuhai, China, completed its acquisition of Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Aircraft on June 28. Sellers include private-equity firm Arcapita, which owned 60 percent of Cirrus, and minority shareholders (including former Cirrus chairman and co-founder Alan Klapmeier). The plan to buy 100 percent of the light aircraft manufacturer for an estimated $210 million–minus Cirrus’s outstanding debts–was announced on February 28, but U.S. concerns about technology transfer stretched out the consummation of the agreement. Last month, Caiga officials signed a pledge drafted by the city of Duluth that ensures that the Cirrus production plant will stay in the U.S. and won’t be moved to China. Cirrus president and CEO Brent Wouters said Caiga brings the resources to expedite development of the single-engine Vision jet, which could now achieve FAA certification and initial deliveries in mid-2014.