Hawker Pacific plots expansion after Seacor investment

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Australian aerospace sales and product support company Hawker Pacific plans to use funding from new part-owner Seacor to provide fixed-base operations and maintenance repair and overhaul activities in India, Singapore and Shanghai, as well as expanding its Asia-based aircraft salesforce.

Offshore oil and gas and marine transport service provider Seacor acquired a 33% stake in Hawker Pacific at the end of 2010. It invested A$25 million ($24.6 million) into the Sydney-based company, which is majority owned by Saab and Lynton Holding Asia, in exchange for newly issued common equity and representation on the Hawker Pacific board.

Hawker Pacific conducts aerospace sales, special mission modification and systems integration, technical support and handling and FBO services across Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Hawker Pacific chief executive Alan Smith says the funding will be spent on existing facilities and fresh opportunities, including a new facility at Seletar airport, Singapore.

As part of the airport redevelopment, Hawker Pacific must relocate from the East Camp to the West Camp precinct, where it will have a new 9,000m2 (96,900ft2) FBO. This will include a state-of-the-art aircraft paintshop and dedicated line and heavy maintenance hangars, with the company's Singapore workforce of 80-plus set to grow substantially.

The investment will also be used for the expansion into MRO and aircraft management activities at Hawker Pacific's joint venture FBO with the Shanghai Airport Authority at the Chinese airport. "The current FBO activity is experiencing healthy growth and we will continue to look for opportunities to expand operations into other key regional centres," says Smith.

Hawker Pacific will also explore opportunities to establish an FBO/MRO business in India - a market it has been eyeing for some time, he adds.

"Funds are also earmarked to aggressively expand our Asia-based aircraft salesforce. The individual markets in Asia continue to show good potential and it is a priority to ensure we have the resources to maximise our exposure in the various markets."

Smith says there are also synergies between Hawker Pacific's and Seacor's aviation activities that could provide significant growth opportunities.