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.