Sino Swearingen Aircraft (SSAC), manufacturer of the SJ30 light business jet, is poised for takeover in the coming weeks by Emirates Investment Developments (EID) of the Middle East.

The Dubai-based company will become the majority shareholder in the start-up, with the Taiwanese government and private investors taking minority stakes.

The acquisition by EID follows the withdrawal from the sale earlier this year of SSAC's former lead investor, ACQ Capital, which was unable to proceed due to its exposure to the US sub prime market. "The paperwork is now with the US state department which has to approve any sale of a US company by a foreign owner," says a source. "A meeting will be held at the department on 29 April where a recommendation will be made to proceed with the sale, The deal should be complete before EBACE [the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition] next month," it adds.

Sino Swearingen will remain "on tick over" until the investment is in place. The San Antonio, Texas-based company will then rejig the manufacturing line that is producing only a trickle of aircraft.

"We will begin turning out aircraft in a small way at first and begin serious production ramp up in 2009/2010," says the source.

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 SSAC's its leading distributor Action Aviation.

Source: Flight International