Mahindra Aero looks for strategic investor

Chennai: The Mahindra group is looking to scale up its aerospace business to capture a slice of the $12-billion offset business in the Indian defence market. Group company Mahindra Aerospace Private Ltd (MAPL) is looking to rope in a strategic investor (it already has Kotak PE) and is pumping in Rs 284 crore in a new facility in Karnataka for components, assemblies and aerostructures both for its own and other large aircraft. The idea, said a top company official, is to create competence for components on one hand and build compact, rugged, affordable aircraft – ‘Scorpio of the aero industry’ – on the other.
“We are talking to potential strategic investors including OEMs and tier I suppliers. We are looking at a relationship that will help us access both customers and technology – not just for the offsets business but for aerospace competency beyond that too …,” Hemant Luthra, president, Systech, M&M, told TOI. A tie-up is a “distinct possibility” in the quarter. The top tier 1 suppliers globally are players like Alenia, part of the Italian group Finmeccanica, Premium Aerotec, Aernnova Spain, Aerolia, and Spirit Aerosystems but Luthra refused to speculate on the name of the potential strategic partner. The $7.1 billion Mahindra group is building a 20-acre component plant at Narsapura in Karnataka.
The company has acquired equipment from the Boeing Aerostructures plant in Melbourne Australia for the Narsapura plant.
13/02/11 Nandini Sen Gupta/Times of India

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