Fresh rumours suggest StandardAero sale looms


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IT'S been a couple of years since the last round of rumours about the sale of StandardAero, so it's about time for a new one.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/02/2015 (2841 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

IT’S been a couple of years since the last round of rumours about the sale of StandardAero, so it’s about time for a new one.

Earlier this week, citing unnamed sources, Reuters reported Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Ltd., (DAE) is looking to sell StandardAero.

While Winnipeg is StandardAero’s largest facility in terms of the number of employees, the aircraft and aircraft engine repair maintenance and overhaul operation has a number of other locations in the U.S. and in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press Files Standard Aero's 707 Flight Road Facility in Winnipeg

Reuters said the asking price is about $1.8 billion. It also reported the company generated about $400 million in profits last year.

It’s the third time since 2010 Reuters has reported StandardAero is on the sale block.

Not surprisingly, company officials are not commenting on the report.

“Rumours, speculation, unconfirmed reports, undisclosed sources… we are not going to comment on any of that,” said Kyle Hultquist, StandardAero’s senior vice-president of marketing and communications. “We have been through that a few times.”

DAE is owned by a number of United Arab Emirates private and state-owned firms including Investment Corporation of Dubai, Dubai International Capital LLC, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Istithmar World PJSC and Emaar Properties PJSC.

StandardAero’s 60-person head office is in Scottsdale, Ariz., having recently relocated from offices in Tempe.

Hultquist said the company, which generates about $1.7 billion in revenue, has just come off a successful year in challenging markets.

Its 1,400-person Winnipeg operation is one of the largest independent gas turbine engine maintenance, repair and overhaul operations in the world.

The company also does airframe maintenance and overhaul as well as a full range of services for business jets at several facilities in the U.S.

Hultquist said the business-aviation sector has been “slow to return to flying.”

But, he said, “All indications from the major trade associations and manufacturer and operator groups are saying that maybe we’re at the point of seeing increased flying hours.”

StandardAero is one of the prime service centres for engines used on C-130 Hercules transport planes. The company does the bulk of that work for Canadian and international clients in Winnipeg and for the U.S. Air Force in San Antonio, Tex.

Its Associated Air Center operation in Dallas is a world leader in the maintenance and modification of large transport aircraft where it does custom-design interiors with the latest state-of-the-art airborne offices and unique spaces.

Hultquist said it just completed a couple of overhauls on a Boeing 747 and a 787 for “heads-of-state-type customers.”

While it has not established any new production facilities for some time, the company is expanding its Cincinnati-based component-repair business into Winnipeg.

In August, the company reported it would be establishing StandardAero Component Services-Canada (SACS-Canada) at its Winnipeg campus to meet the growing market and customer demands for customized component repair solutions.

Hultquist said a multimillion-dollar investment in machinery for that work at its Winnipeg shops is expected to be announced soon.

Martin Cash

Martin Cash

Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.


Updated on Friday, February 27, 2015 8:37 AM CST: Adds photo

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