New investors are acquiring control of Sino Swearingen Aircraft and finalizing plans to resume production of the SJ30-2 business twinjet.
Sino Swearingen’s current owner, the government of Taiwan, will retain a minority stake in the company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a company spokesman characterized the amount of the investment as “substantial” and “sufficient to restart production.” He also said that the new investors–London-based Action Aviation and Brentwood, Calif.-based ACQ Capital–had acquired “considerably more than” 51 percent of the company. The transaction is expected to close next month, but the investors are putting funds into the company now.
The new owners plan to retain the company’s workforce of 350 at Sino’s San Antonio, Texas and Martinsburg, W. Va. locations, including company management “for now,” the spokesman said. He added that the company plans to continue operating at its present locations. In the next 30 days company officials will meet with critical vendors in an attempt to restart the flow of parts to the jet’s production line. The plan is to facilitate the completion of eight SJ30s that are in various stages of assembly and deliver those aircraft to customers.
The spokesman estimated that it would take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to bring the company up to full and orderly production. “It’s going to be a slow ramp-up,” he said. Sino currently has 276 “active orders.” “We’ve never had trouble with selling the airplane,” the spokesman said, “just building it.”
Action Aviation is the world’s largest SJ30 dealer and is chaired by Hamish Harding. Action has booked orders for 159 SJ30s and Harding owns S/N 7. John Sabovich, a pilot, is chairman of ACQ Capital. On its Web site, ACQ said that it has plans to acquire $200 million worth of real estate this year.