Quest Aircraft, manufacturer of the Kodiak single-engined turboprop, has been snapped-up by Japanese company Setouchi Holdings for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition will enable the privately owned airframer to begin investing in product development and enhancements, including a new addition to its one-aircraft family.

“We have made no secret of our strategy to expand our product line,” says Quest. “Our new owner shares our vision and has the funding to make this happen.”

Setouchi is part of the Tsuneishi Group, a global company engaged in shipbuilding, transportation and related industries. Last year, it was appointed as a dealership for the Kodiak in Japan, where it hopes to secure certification in the next quarter. “This opened the door to our acquisition,” says Quest.

The sale has come at a positive time in the company’s 14-year history. In 2014 Quest delivered 30 Kodiaks – the highest annual shipment tally since the 10-seat, high-wing aircraft entered service in 2007. This hike is partly a result of Quest’s recent strategy to shift its sales and market effort onto an expanding global dealership network and away from its US headquarters.

The company now has 14 dealerships covering 17 countries, and is looking to expand this tally further. “We have an in-service fleet of 134 Kodiaks to date,” says Quest. “Our current orders are evenly split between utility, passenger and VIP owners/operators.” For the last of these, the company recently unveiled a new executive interior called the Summit.

“Quest has positioned itself to be attractive to outside investors to help us expand the company, and we feel we have the perfect fit with Tsuneishi Group,” says Quest chief executive Sam Hill of the sale. “They also believe strongly in the Kodiak, and want to help us make Quest the leading manufacturer of single-engined turboprops in the world.”

Source: Flight International