Enstrom Helicopter announced late last week that it has been acquired by Chongqing Helicopter Investment Co. (CQHIC) for an undisclosed price. Chongqing is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in China. Menominee, Mich.-based Enstrom manufactures single-engine helicopters, including the 480B turbine and F28 piston series.
The acquisition “will provide Enstrom with the needed resources to enhance marketing efforts in China and around the world,” said company president Jerry Mullins. Enstrom has focused much of its export efforts on Asia with some success in recent years–particularly in China, Japan and Thailand–and has expanded its workforce by 50 percent over the last 18 months. It appointed its first Chinese dealer in 2011.
CQHIC said it is focused on helping Enstrom expand its reach into China and the rest of the world. “The number of helicopters in Asia represents only a small percentage of the number of helicopters in the U.S., while Asia has a significantly larger population and is expected to be a major market for helicopters over the next two decades,” Enstrom noted.
Since its founding in 1959, Enstrom has had multiple owners, including Purex, trial attorney F. Lee Bailey and inventor Dean Kamen.