United Aircraft and Finmeccanica are considering a merger of their co-owned entities Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) and Superjet Intenational, which manufacture and market the Superjet regional airliner.
Russian manufacturer Sukhoi, part of United Aircraft, holds a 75% stake in SCAC, with the remainder held by Finmeccanica-owned Alenia Aermacchi. Meanwhile, Italy-based Superjet International – which handles the marketing and interior completion of aircraft destined for Western customers – is a joint venture between Alenia and Sukhoi, which own 51% and 49% respectively.
At a meeting this week, Finmeccanica and United Aircraft are to discuss restructuring of both partnerships, and one of the options on the table is a merger of SCAC and Superjet International, say sources familiar with the matter.
Another option is alterations to their shareholdings in the ventures. "This variant has already been discussed," says one official.
A source at United Aircraft says the two parties favour merging the joint ventures: "This would allow Italians to preserve their stake and help optimise Superjet programme management."
Earlier this month, Alenia chief operating officer Ugo Vinti stressed the need for the business model to be "adapted to the current phase of the programme".
In July, the Russian government decided to bolster the programme through a subsidy from Vnesheconombank, funded by sale of a 5% Airbus stake acquired in 2007.