Sino Swearingen Aircraft, manufacturer of the SJ30 light business jet, has been thrown a lifeline by Emirates Investment Developments (Emivest) of Dubai, which has acquired an 80% stake in the company. The remaining shares are held by the Taiwanese government and private investors.
The US committee on foreign investment - which has to authorise any purchase of a US company by a foreign owner - has given the green light to the sale paving the way for Sino Swearingen to initiate full-scale production of the SJ30.
The acquisition by Emivest follows the withdrawal from the sale earlier this year of Sino Swearingen´s former lead investor, ACQ Capital, which was unable to proceed due to its exposure to the US sub-prime market. Sino Swearingen will remain "on tick over" until the investment is in place, says a source. The San Antonio, Texas-based company will then rejig the manufacturing line that is producing only a trickle of aircraft.
The orderbook for the $ 7.5 million aircraft has remained largely unaffected by the funding setbacks, with the tally exceeding 300 units including 159 from the manufacturer´s leading distributor Action Aviation.