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RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS PLANS LONDON LISTING

ROTORCRAFT Russian Helicopters, the state-owned holding that designs and manufactures civil and military helicopters, plans to hold an initial public offering worth $500 million in London and Russia. The company plans to use the proceeds to pay off debt and fund certain mandatory tender offers for shares in its subsidiaries that it does not already own. Russian Helicopters includes the Mil and Kamov design bureaux and the Kazan Helicopter Plant, and produces the widely sold Mi-17 and Mi-171  helicopters.

CARLYLE TO UNHOOK FASTENERS BUSINESS

DISTRIBUTION Carlyle Group, the private equity investor, is to exit its 2006 acquisition of distribution and supply chain management company Wesco Aircraft with a US stock market listing. Wesco's 2010 sales of $656 million included $435 million in highly engineered fasteners, with main OEM customers ranging from Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier to Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. The Valencia, California-based outfit made a pre-tax profit of $117.6 million, or nearly 18% of sales, in its year to 30 September, and has been consistently in double digits since Carlyle acquired it in September 2006, following a pre-tax loss in its year to that point.

TRANSDIGM GROUP COMPLETES DIVESTMENT OF AQS

BATTERIES Aircraft components maker TransDigm has sold its Aero Quality Sales business to Satair for about $30 million in cash. Stamford, Connecticut- and Heston, UK-based AQS, a worldwide distributor and service centre for aircraft batteries and support equipment, was part of the McKechnie Aerospace acquisition that closed in December 2010.

GKN FIRST QUARTER REVENUE DIPS WITH SEASON

MANUFACTURING First-quarter revenue has edged down by £1 million ($1.63 million) to £352 million at GKN Aerospace, "reflecting normal seasonal activity levels". Trading profit remained flat at £32 million. Automotive driveline division sales grew 16% in the quarter to £673 million, with profit up 35% to £50 million.

AVIO BUYS INTO BRAZILIAN DEFENCE SECTOR

PROPULSION Avio, the Italian aerospace propulsion group, has acquired Focaleng, a Brazilian military aeroengine maintenance, repair and overhaul operator. Focaleng, based in Rio de Janeiro with a turnover of over 23 million reals ($14.5 million), supporting Brazilian air force aircraft including Northrop F-5E/F Tigers. Avio already supports Brazil's AM-X fighters.

AIR INDIA UNIT TO MOVE ENGINEERING ARM

AIRLINES AI Express, the no-frills subsidiary of state-owned flag carrier Air India, is planning to shift its engineering and maintenance facilities to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala from Mumbai some time this year. This strategy is expected to help AI Express cut costs and boost the efficiency of its fleet utilisation.

COLUMBIA BOOSTS CHINOOK CAPABILITY

MAINTENANCE Columbia Helicopters is expanding its Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter support offering by growing its T55 engine maintenance capabilities to include a test cell at its maintenance headquarters at Aurora, Oregon. "Building this test cell allows CHI to provide complete nose-to-tail Chinook maintenance," says business development director Scott Ellis.