Aboulafia Questions Sino Swearingen Buyout


A leading aviation analyst says he’s skeptical about the structure of a buyout plan that Sino Swearingen says will finally get the speedy SJ30 to market. After a decade of majority ownership and $600 million invested by the Taiwanese government, a partnership between ACQ Capital and Action Aviation has taken over the company but Richard Aboulafia, of the Teal Group, wonders how effective it will be since Action Aviation is one of Sino Swearingen’s customers, as its distributor in the Middle East. “The primary customer for a jet, also having financial responsibility to start up volume production – that’s highly unusual to say the least,” Aboulafia mused to the San Antonio Express-News. “Is this a genuine rescue?”

Sino Swearingen Chairman Max Lo said Action Aviation is the “perfect partner” because of its experience and track record. Others involved in the project seemed less concerned with who took over, as long as it was taken out of the Taiwanese government’s hands. “I think this is what we need, to get it in the hands of a businessman so it isn’t micromanaged from the other side of the world,” minority stakeholder, and the first SJ30 customer, Doug Jaffe, said.