Aer Lingus gets go-ahead for IPO

Irish carrier Aer Lingus has won government go-ahead for an initial public offering (IPO). Ireland's transport ministry says that the prospectus will be published "as soon as possible" and that regulatory approvals will be completed over the summer period. Under the scheme the government plans to sell up to 74.9% of the airline, with shares to be listed on the Irish and UK stock exchanges. New equity may be issued to raise funds for Aer Lingus's development, to carry the airline through industry downturns and to address Aer Lingus workers' pension concerns. Transport minister Martin Cullen says: "New capital strength and flexibility will give Aer Lingus the opportunity to expand and to grow in the years ahead."

Aviation insurance premiums to fall further

Aviation insurance premiums have fallen on average 6% in the second quarter of the year, compared with a drop of 2% in the first quarter, according to insurance broker Aon. An 11% rise in average fleet value and an 18% rise in passenger numbers has failed to halt the decline, Aon says. "The high level of competition in the market coupled with the excellent safety record, appears to be making it increasingly difficult to maintain the balance and sustainability of premium. Without a change in conditions, reductions are likely to continue."

Aon cumulative loss

Ranger Aerospace targets acquisitions

US-based Ranger Aerospace & Aeronautics, a venture capitalist specialising in aviation services and aerospace support companies, is seeking a listing on the AIM section of the London stock exchange. The company says its strategy is to target aviation and aerospace companies in the USA and worldwide to allow it to grow through acquisition. It intends to start by securing an initial "platform enterprise" in a single aerospace or aviation sub-sector "where further consolidation appears feasible".

Comtek posts record revenues

Canadian composites specialist Comtek Advanced Structures has benefited from strong growth in revenues and newly positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at its Phoenix subsidiary, posting the highest overall revenues of any quarter for the three months ending 30 June. Revenues were up 20% compared with the previous quarter at over C$4.5 million ($4 million).

Stork acquires US component repair business

Fokker Services, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based Stork, is to acquire component repair and overhaul services specialist Airinc from AeroMark for an undisclosed sum. The company is Fokker Services' first component repair facility in the North American market.

TAT plans to rescue Sogerma site

France's TAT Group is proposing to take responsibility for maintenance operations of EADS Sogerma Services at its Merignac site, leaving EADS in charge of aerostructure activities at the plant. EADS had backed away from earlier plans to close the site, which employs 1,000, and has been holding talks with potential investors. Under the proposal, TAT Group, parent of maintenance firm Sabena Technics, will take on 500 staff, enabling them to continue activities at Merignac. Another 150 will be retained by EADS Sogerma Services to preserve ATR-related aerostructures work.

Source: Flight International