Italy-based aerospace company Leonardo has signed a contract to purchase Swiss OEM Kopter, the company announced at the 2020 HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California, on Tuesday. Kopter is developing the clean-sheet SH09 single-engine helicopter, which flew for the first time in October 2014. According to Leonardo, the acquisition will replace its plans to invest in a new single-engine helicopter design.
“We are proud to welcome this innovative company as an integral part of our world-leading helicopter business,” said Leonardo Helicopters Managing Director Gian Piero Cutillo. “It complements perfectly our existing product portfolio adding a promising rotorcraft that will greatly benefit from our industrial know-how, service and training experience and commercial network.”
The $185 million deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020. Following the acquisition, Leonardo says Kopter will “act as an autonomous legal entity and competence center” within its helicopter division. Kopter began operations in 2009 under the name Marenco SwissHelicopter.
Impressively smart move by Leonardo. It also seems like a marriage made in heaven. I’ve been following the Marenco/Kopter development. Many were pretty skeptical that a new player could develop a credible rotorcraft – but they have. Bravo to them.