SALE AERO Vodochody, Alenia Aeronautica, Saab and SABCA are among some 15 Romanian and foreign companies interested in buying Avioane Craiova, Romania's only maker of military aircraft, which is to be privatised. Nearly 81% of the company is up for sale, with the rest to remain in the hands of smaller shareholders. Bids must be submitted by 17 April. The company was set up in 1972 and developed and produced the twinjet ground attack aircraft IAR-93/J-22 Orao used by Romanian and Yugoslav air forces and still in service in Serbia (pictured). In the 1980s it helped design, and still produces, the IAR-99 advanced jet trainer. The company lost euro 2 million ($3.1 million) in 2007 on revenues down 7.5% to euro 6.87 million in 2006 losses were some euro 330 million.

Aviation revenues nearly double at GTE

RESULTS Gas Turbine Efficiency, the London AIM-listed turbine engine efficiency systems maker and exclusive supplier of on-wing wash systems to Pratt & Whitney, nearly doubled aviation revenue to $5.2 million in 2007. Chief executive Steven Zwolinski says: "This strong performance has continued into 2008 with GTE receiving new orders worth $3 million from Pratt & Whitney." Industrial sector revenue growth was also strong, helping boost overall turnover to $17.8 million, from $4.7 million in 2006 first time contribution from acquisitions was $10.2 million. Pre-tax losses were stable year-on-year at $2.9 million.

Czech aircraft works in insolvency dispute

FINANCE A loan of $690,000 to Czech Aircraft Works (CZAW) by its 49% owner Slavia Capital (SC) is being called due, and delay in repayment has led SC to claim the manufacturer of the extremely popular SportCruiser LSA and microlight to be insolvent. CZAW president Chip Erwin calls the move "a classic eastern European hostile takeover" attempt, while SC vice-president for marketing Peter Bencurik says repeated attempts to increase ownership and avoid solvency were rebuffed. As the courts examine CZAW, both Bencurik and Erwin are searching for partners for future operations.

EADS buys university satellite spin-off

SPACE EADS Astrium is to acquire University of Surrey spin-off company Surrey Satellite Technology, which specialises in the design and manufacture of small and micro satellites. Colin Paynter, chief executive of Astrium in the UK, says: "SSTL is one of the great success stories of the UK space industry." The university will retain a small stake in the company.

Botswana renews bid to privatise flag carrier

AIRLINES Botswana has shortlisted six possible bidders for a contract to Air Botswana, marking a fresh attempt at privatisation, which has failed several times since 2000. Contenders include South African consultancy firm African Airline Management, Johannesburg-based lessor Solenta Aviation, British Airways' South African franchise partner ComAir, developing market specialist International Development Ireland, Lufthansa Consulting and Air France Consulting. The Gaborone-based carrier operates two BAe 146-100s, three ATR42-500s and a single Cessna Caravan, according to Flight's ACAS database.

ISRAEL's Elbit opts for global identity

BRANDING Elbit Systems is integrating its Israeli and international subsidiaries under a single brand identity after several years of merger and acquisition activity. Elbit is among the 40 largest defence companies worldwide and one of Israel's 10 largest companies. In 2007, sales totalled $1.98 billion.

Source: Flight International