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Hasičská slavobrána na letišti Vodochody při představení HondaJetu. Foto: Jan Sůra

The sale of Aero Vodochody has been completed. The new owner is no longer dependent on a large airport

The airport will only serve the needs of Aero Vodochody, or the military for which Aero has signed a contract.

The sale of Aero Vodochody has been completed. Now it belongs to HSC Aerojet, where Hungarian financier Szalay-Bobrovniczky holds a majority. The Czech group Omnipol owns a smaller stake. Victor Sutton took over the management of the company, replacing Dieter John. So far, the Penta Group is owned by Aero.

The sale also includes Vodokudi Airport, for which Penta has been preparing a project for many years to convert it into a general international airport to operate low-cost airlines. Down to the new owner. Aero employs more than 1,300 people and is the largest domestic manufacturer of aircraft technology.

The sale agreement was signed in July, and the deal was also evaluated by the Office of Competition Protection (ÚOHS), allowing the entry of a Hungarian partner in August. Aero fudochodi. “Aero will continue to develop all three pillars of its business, namely the production and development of its own aircraft, as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul orders for aircraft maintenance and repair, as well as airframe production programmes, i.e. the supply of aircraft components to domestic companies and foreign customers.” said Suttona, who has so far led ERA, which manufactures and develops air traffic control systems. Under his leadership, the company achieved record sales and doubled the number of employees.

Aero Vodochody spokesperson Tobis Tverdijk confirmed that Omnipol is acquiring a 20% stake in HSC Aerojet and that the 80% stake will be controlled by a Hungarian group, which has received financing for its investments by the Hungarian State Development Bank, indicating Hungary’s interest in further cooperation. . The Hungarian Development Bank provided a loan of 150 million euros. Aero visited a Hungarian delegation on Wednesday, and the Hungarian military had previously shown interest in 12 L-39NG aircraft. Hungary gradually used all types of aircraft made in Aero.

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Omnipol is a long-term partner of Aero, responsible for commercial activities in a number of countries, and since 2015 it has been a strategic partner of the L-39NG project. Penta Aero has been owned for 14 years, acquired during privatization. This year, Aero will begin mass production of the new L-39NG aircraft. It also concluded contracts for the repair and modernization of 35 L-39 and L-159 aircraft for customers in the Czech Republic and abroad. For example, it also supplies military aircraft C-390 Millennium, civil aircraft Airbus A220, ST Engineering Aerospace or Aircraft Industries of the Czech aircraft manufacturer L-410.

“The development and preparation of our L-39NG aircraft, which has so far required more than 3 billion CZK, has been critical to the development and future of Aero. The successful certification of the aircraft became a catalyst for our exit from Aero. We want to devote energy to the key companies in our portfolio,” said Penta partner Marek Duspeva.

Part of Penta’s strategy was to expand Vodochody Airport for low-cost civil transportation, and Penta has also received EIA approval for the project. However, he struggled for a long time with the resistance of the surrounding municipalities, such as politicians in Central Bohemia. The new owner has already announced that he is withdrawing from this plan. Thus, the airport will continue to serve only the needs of Aero Vodochody, or the army, with which Aero has a contract on the possible use of the airport until 2026.

According to the latest published financial results from the previous year, the company incurred a loss, among other things, due to significant investments in the adoption of the new L-39NG aircraft. Operating loss before depreciation was 383 million kroner, and total revenue was 2.9 billion. Aero has yet to publish its results for the past year. I originally assumed a return to profit, but because, among other things, due to the effects of the epidemic, which stopped or significantly slowed down some transactions, according to preliminary estimates, the economy will again suffer losses, the loss should be less than in 2019.

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