M&M acquires majority stake in two Australian aerospace companies

Mumbai: Automotive major Mahindra today signed two aerospace deals with the simultaneous acquisition of majority stakes in two Australian companies - high precision components manufacturer and Aerostaff Australia and aircrsft design firm Gippsland Aeronautics, in each of which Mahindra will take a 75.1 per cent stake.

The acquisitions have been made in partnership with Kotak Private Equity with a total commitment of approximately Rs175 crore.

Aerostaff Australia is a component manufacturer of high-precision close-tolerance aircraft components and assemblies for large aerospace OEMs. AA's acquisition will help catapult M&M into the growing defence offset and commercial aviation market.

Gippsland Aeronautics is an established brand in general aviation and has delivered more than 200 FAR 23 certified planes in 32 countries. The FAR 23 certification is mandatory for carrying fare paying passengers and signifies the highest level of passenger safety.

The acquisitions are in keping with Mahindra's plans to enter into the global aerospace components and the general aviation markets. In 2005 M&M had acquired Bangalore-based engineering design company, Plexion Technologies.

Gippsland's acquisition indicates Mahindra's planned entry into the two- to 20-seater, turbo prop market, which the company says is amongst the fastest growing segments in general aviation. Turbo props provide operational adaptability in environments with relatively poor infrastructure and are noted for their ability to serve the market at the lowest cost per passenger seat kilometre.