© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Airbus emblem pictured on the firm’s headquarters in Blagnac close to Toulouse, France, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Picture
By Gabriel Araujo
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Airbus could be open to promote a stake in helicopter maker Helibras to a possible strategic accomplice after it reached full possession of the Brazilian firm earlier this yr, the top of the subsidiary instructed Reuters on Monday.
The European planemaker, which has managed the previously state-owned Helibras for the reason that mid-2000s, acquired the remaining 15.5% stake from the state of Minas Gerais in January for 95 million reais ($19.4 million).
That, nonetheless, was not Airbus Helicopters’ preliminary plan, Helibras President Alberto Duek stated in his first media interview since taking workplace in July.
The transfer, he famous, was extra associated to Minas Gerais’ personal privatization targets, which prompted the state to search for a purchaser for its stake within the firm, a market chief in Brazil and the one helicopter producer within the Southern Hemisphere.
“Airbus was very proud of the federal government of Minas Gerais in Helibras’ capital,” Duek stated. “However given the danger that some adventurous firm may enter our capital and disturb our enterprise, we felt obliged to purchase that stake.”
“That doesn’t imply that if a dependable accomplice seems Airbus wouldn’t be open to promoting these shares. The proper accomplice must seem, a dependable one on the proper time, and we will analyze every provide.”
He didn’t reveal if Airbus was out out there actively trying to find a strategic accomplice, however stated that any potential contender must share Airbus’ compliance rules, market repute and add to Helibras’ efforts.
Helibras, which can take part this week within the LABACE airshow in Sao Paulo, offered a file 50 helicopters in 2022, a backlog that Duek described as optimistic however difficult because the sector continues to grapple with provide chain constraints.
The chief stated these points, which date again to the COVID-19 pandemic, had been nonetheless not up to now. He expects some one-and-a-half or two extra years earlier than the state of affairs normalizes.
Duek stated that after a powerful efficiency final yr, the helicopter market confronted a slowdown within the first half of 2023 however has been regaining momentum and faces a optimistic second half.
“We have to be reasonable – it is going to be arduous for us to beat that file of fifty helicopter orders. However our prospects are for an excellent yr.”
Helibras sells helicopters to each non-public shoppers and the general public sector. It has additionally been investing in exports, which at present account for 20% of the agency’s output, Duek stated. It has prospects in international locations similar to Chile, Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia.
($1 = 4.8999 reais)