Dubai Air Show

Dubai Financial Company To Secure Major Share of Diamond Aircraft

 - November 14, 2011, 11:21 AM
The capital investment by Medrar Financial Group will allow Diamond Aircraft to resume work on the D-Jet, shown here in mockup at the Dubai Air Show. (Photo Mark Wagner)

Medrar Financial Group of Dubai and Diamond Aircraft Holdings, Canada, of London, Ontario, have signed an agreement for Medrar’s acquisition of a majority interest in Diamond, the companies announced on Monday. The agreement includes Diamond’s piston airplanes as well as its under-development, single-turbine D-Jet. Diamond is exhibiting at the Dubai Air Show this week.

“The current state of the economy highlights the need and potential for aircraft like the D-Jet,” said Jamil Marmarchi, CEO of Medrar, in a press release sent out late today. “As a specialized asset management and investment firm based in Dubai, Medrar will ensure the company’s capital needs are met and Diamond continues to lead the industry with emphasis on enhancing the D-Jet market status…We are excited not only by the D-Jet, but also by the derivative models to follow.”

Marmarchi also said Medrar was “equally bullish about the future potential of [Diamond’s] piston aircraft, especially in support of professional flight training, where we expect international pilot demands to drive a sustainable market for training aircrafts in the long term and maintain our leadership position.”

Christian Dries, chairman of the Diamond Group commenting in the same release, said, “Diamond has grown tremendously over the last decade and it will greatly strengthen our worldwide position to have a capable partner supporting our future growth and our existing business.  We are pleased that Medrar has demonstrated their recognition of this potential with their significant commitment. We look forward to working seamlessly together to develop the Diamond brand and enhance its value.”

Neither Marmarchi nor Dries could be reached for comment at press time. A spokesperson said the value of Medrar’s investment is “undisclosed.” The Medrar investment applies only to Diamond Aircraft Inc. in Canada, not to Diamond Aircraft Gmbh in Austria, which are separate corporations.

In September, AIN reported that Diamond Aircraft had secured an agreement for a fresh capital infusion that allowed the restart of its D-Jet program and restored the test aircraft to flight status.

In 2008, Canada had loaned the Austrian-based aircraft manufacturer $20 million for the D-Jet program.  However, after failing to obtain a new $36 million development loan from the Canadian government, Diamond had to suspend the program in March and subsequently lay off 200 employees, who were working on the single-engine jet at its London, Ontario facility. Obtaining the latest government loan was tied to receiving additional private-sector loans needed to get the program through certification. The London facility currently employs some 220 people.

Diamond president Peter Maurer told AIN in August that a new financing package was “in the process of being closed and, while it allows us to proceed again, additional funds will be required to complete the program, and this is being sought in conjunction with our new investors.”