Mark AB Capital Investments (Mark AB), based in the United Arab Emirates, and the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) have signed an agreement under which UAC will give Mark AB a 49% stake in the Superjet International joint venture, respectively, of its participation in the Superjet 100 project. This is stated in a press release distributed by SJI.
“With the execution of this agreement, UAC effectively exits the Superjet program,” the document said.
In 2007, Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica and Russia’s Sukhoi Holding created a joint venture, SuperJet International, headquartered in Venice, in which Alenia Aeronautica held 51 percent and Sukhoi 49 percent. At the end of March 2017, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft JSC acquired 100% of Wing Ned B.V., which owns 41% in SuperJet International, for 1 euro. After this deal, the Russian side’s share in the SJI joint venture was 90%, and the Italian aircraft manufacturing holding Leonardo S.p.A. – 10%.
Acquisition of SJI shares by Mark AB will be possible only after approval of the deal by Italian and Russian state bodies. The approvals will allow unfreezing the shares and assets of SJI, which are under sanctions of the European Union. After obtaining these approvals, SJI’s new shareholding structure will consist of 49% Mark AB Capital, 41% Studio Guidotti International and 10% Leonardo. The entry of the new shareholder and the unfreezing of SJI’s shares and assets are prerequisites without which the restart of SJI’s operations cannot be realized.
“This agreement is significant for our company because the termination of our production and commercial relationship with UAC will allow us to no longer be burdened by the restrictions resulting from the sanctions rules imposed by the European Union,” said SuperJet International CEO Camillo Perfido.
The relaunch plan was developed jointly by SJI and Mark Capital AB and calls for an investment of €190 million, of which €110 million in the Venice facility. The investment will support the development of new Superjet 100 configurations, the construction of a new SJI subsidiary in the UAE and the development of aircraft to compete in the global airline market.
To support the commercial production activities, the new corporate structure foresees a gradual increase to 400 SJI employees in Venice and 800 in total, including the new UAE branch. Venice currently employs about 110 people. Before the pandemic and sanctions, SJI had 250 employees.
Projected sales are estimated at a minimum of 240 planes in various versions: passenger, business jets and cargo, most of which will be destined for the UAE and Indian markets.
The basic configuration of the Superjet 100 will be built at Al Ain International Airport. The aircraft customization, painting, assembly of passenger cabins and other work will take place in Venice, for which the Italian site is responsible.
At the initial stage of activity it is planned to use the national base of subcontractors available in the UAE in the aviation industry, in particular for the production of engine parts and aircraft structures.