Socata Denies Indian Venture Scuttlebutt

 - June 5, 2008, 11:25 AM

EADS Socata, the France-based manufacturer of the TBM 850 turboprop single, today tried to clarify the status of its negotiations with a number of potential partners for the development of another business aircraft. Speaking to AIN, a spokesman essentially denied the content of a story published Sunday in the India Times, which reported that UB Group’s Vijay Mallya was ready to invest $200 million in the development of a Socata jet. “We did talk to Mallya but it was about relaunching our line of piston singles,” the spokesman said. He acknowledged no progress has been made recently in Socata’s search for partners in developing new business aircraft, possibly including an eight-seat twinjet. The long-rumored tie-up with Epic Aircraft seems to have never started, as nothing more than consulting services were exchanged between the two companies, according to the Socata spokesman. Separately, neither Mallya’s nor Epic’s spokesperson answered AIN’s questions about whether the former has actually taken a $200 million stake in the latter, as announced last September.