Dubai Firm Proposes To Buy Landmark Aviation

 - March 19, 2007, 1:36 PM

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise is in “active discussions” with Washington, D.C.-Carlyle Group to acquire Landmark Aviation, and in particular its MRO businesses. At press time a definitive agreement was pending, but no timetable was given. Formed early last year by the Dubai government as an investment arm and managed by several former executives of Honeywell, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) acquired its first MRO business last year–SR Technics, which serves airlines in Europe and Asia. The transaction would also include DAE’s purchase of Carlyle’s Standard Aero, a Winnipeg, Canada engine MRO along with the MRO businesses of Landmark (the former Garrett Aviation), including Associated Air Center. Because DAE is not interested in Landmark’s FBO business it would immediately begin the process of selling off the FBOs. It’s unclear if the FBOs would be sold as a chain or individually. Landmark Aviation was formed 17 months ago, comprising the former engine and airframe maintenance firm Garrett Aviation, FBO chain Piedmont Hawthorne and large aircraft completions center Associated Air Center. “One of the core sectors that DAE is focused on is MRO, and growth in the North American and global markets could be enhanced through the purchase of Standard Aero and the MRO business of Landmark Aviation,” an official close to the negotiations told AIN. Any cross-border acquisition requires approval by the government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), one of several entities that forced Dubai’s DP World to relinquish its plans to buy six U.S. shipping ports. DAE officials do not foresee a problem, likening the proposal to the recent CFIUS approval of Dubai International Capital’s purchase of London-based engine components builder Doncasters, which has plants in the U.S.