Chinese firm completes US aircraft maker merger

Updated: 2013-10-17 15:06


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ZHENGZHOU -- Meijing Group, a Chinese real estate developer, has completed its purchase of Mooney Aviation Company Inc, a United States-based manufacturer of utility aircraft, a company source said on Thursday.

The takeover was completed on Oct 11 after the US Committee on Foreign Investment approved the deal on Oct 2, said an executive with the Meijing Group, which is based in central China's Henan Province.

The deal is another successful acquisition of a US firm by a Chinese one after Shuanghui International's purchase of Smithfield Foods for $7.1 billion in September, marking the biggest such deal so far.

Shuanghui International and its subsidiaries are the majority shareholders of Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development Co, which is China's largest meat processing enterprise, also based in Henan province.

Meijing Group paid about $100 million in the deal and promised to invest another $1 billion at a later stage, according to the executive source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Meijing Group has already registered two aviation-related companies in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou. They will run businesses of aircraft assembly, trading, exhibition and airport construction.

The deal between Meijing Group and Mooney is expected to revive the 84-year-old manufacturer of single-engine general aviation aircraft, which laid off employees and suspended production in 2010.

Meijing Group, registered in Zhengzhou in 2002, is aiming to expand its business outside of real estate development.

Zhengzhou was approved as the nation's first air economic zone by the State Council, China's Cabinet, early this year. Since then, it has been on a fast track of transitioning from a railway-pivoted economy to an aerotropolis.