MHI names potential equity partners for MRJ programme

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has confirmed it is seeking to get Toyota Motor, Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui & Co, Sumitomo Corp and the Development Bank of Japan as equity partners in the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) programme.

MHI, which a few moments ago announced it is launching the programme, says in a statement it plans to fund two-thirds of the programme itself but it is seeking to get equity partners to fund the rest.

It says it has approached Toyota Motor, Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui & Co, Sumitomo Corp and the Development Bank of Japan for this.

MHI has already spent ¥3 billion ($30 million) to establish Mitsubishi Aircraft, the company that will spear-head the programme and is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of MHI, it says.

But it plans to inject “up to ¥100 billion in line with the business operations development” and it needs to get equity investors to pay for a third of this investment, says MHI.

Mitsubishi Aircraft is headquartered in Nagoya, its president is Nobuo Toda and it will start with around 200 employees, it adds.

This new company will be responsible for the MRJ programme including the aircraft’s design, acquisition of type certification, procurement, sales and customer support, says MHI.

MHI’s Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works will manufacture the prototype aircraft and production models and will also be in charge of flight testing, it adds.

Yesterday MHI received a commitment from All Nippon Airways’ board to order 15 MRJ90s with options for 10 more and Vietnam Airlines has said it is negotiating a deal to order some MRJs.

MHI plans to develop the MRJ90 in time for entry into service in 2013. The 90-seat MRJ90 will be the first to be built and MHI also plans to build a 70-seat MRJ70. 

Today MHI announced it is launching the programme and that this move will “accelerate the MRJ’s development and further strengthen sales activities to potential customers worldwide”.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news