GE Aviation this week finalized its acquisition of certain assets of Czech turboprop manufacturer Walter Engines, the company said Thursday.
General Electric Co., parent of GE Aviation, announced the pending acquisition last August. It will allow GE Aviation, which makes jet engines for commercial and military aircraft, to enter the market for small, twin-engine turboprop aircraft, according to a news release.
Walter, based in Prague, Czech Republic, was founded in 1923, and has about 400 employees and annual sales of $ 28 million. It will operate as Walter Aircraft Engines, a division of GE Aviation.
The Wall Street Journal, in a Thursday online story, said GE plans to "invest heavily" in Walter to make it competitive with the turboprop engine division of archrival Pratt & Whitney. GE also plans to increase production to 500 engines a year by 2010 and will introduce an upgraded version of Walter´s primary engine in July, the Journal said.