Kate Sarsfield/LONDON Andy Nativi/GENOA

Unaxis Holding is selling its Pilatus Aircraft subsidiary to a Swiss-led group of investors, while fellow general aviation manufacturer Piaggio Aero Industries is once again under full Italian control following the sale of remaining shares held by Turkey's Tushav.

The sale of Pilatus to Swiss investor Joerg Burkart, Zurich-based bank IHAG Holding, Basle's Hoffmann-La Roche pension fund and Icelandic air charter entrepreneur Hilmar Hilmarsson follows a two year search by Unaxis (formerly Oerlikon-Buhle) for a "an optimum solution" for its disposal.

Unaxis says the new owners "are committed to further developing Pilatus", and plan an initial public offering via a listing in three or four years. The deal should be completed within weeks, when the price will be disclosed. Stans-based Pilatus produces PC-7 and PC-9 military trainers, the PC-6 Turbo Porter utility aircraft and the single-engine PC-12 business and utility aircraft. It owns Swiss maintenance company TSA Transairco.


Tushav's remaining 17.5% stake in Piaggio has been bought by an unnamed group of Italian investors.

Tushav once held 51%, but cut this to 35% with the disputed sale of a stake to the Di Mase, Buitoni, and Ferrari families (existing shareholders), giving them 60% control. Piaggio expanded its capital from L10 billion ($5 million) to L20 billion in July 1999, with the Turkish stake falling to 17.5%. Tushav will now surrender that stake, with Piaggio's share capital doubling to L40 billion.

Piaggio delivered eight P180s in 2000 (its target was 15), achieving sales estimated at L180-190 billion, short of its L230 billion target. Its orderbook stands at L500 billion. Piaggio has won a contract from Rolls-Royce/Honeywell venture LHTEC for licensed production of T800 engines for Italian Army Agusta 129 helicopters.

Source: Flight International