Takeover Secures D-JET

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The CEO of Diamond Aircraft's Canadian operations in London, Ontario, says the takeover of the company is good news for the workers and will ensure the D-JET gets to market. It was announced Monday that a majority interest in Diamond was acquired by Medrar Financial Group, of Dubai, for an undisclosed sum. In an interview with the London Free Press on Tuesday, Peter Maurer said the company will benefit in several ways from the purchase. "This gives us the financial strength to complete the (D-JET) program," Maurer said. "We're getting expertise in business and the financial side." Diamond has 220 workers at the London plant and Maurer said another 200 could be added if the D-JET sells well. The deal also includes the piston products made by the company.

Diamond has had a rough time of it in the past few years. On top of the general malaise that has hit the small airplane market, Diamond spent a lot of money rescuing its diesel-engine aircraft business from the insolvency of engine supplier Thielert. The company developed its own engine, the Austro, and is still retrofitting the diesel fleet with the in-house engine. With piston sales at their lowest in decades late last year, the company applied for funding from the Canadian government to finish development and certification of the D-JET. After a protracted and testy controversy that got wrapped up in a Canadian election campaign, the loan was turned down. In June of 2011 it was announced that Diamond had found private financing for the D-JET but the investor was never identified and it's still not known if it was Medrar.