Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), today announced an agreement to acquire Schweizer Aircraft Corp., a privately owned U.S. company specializing in the light helicopter, reconnaissance aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) markets.
"Schweizer Aircraft is a great strategic fit for Sikorsky, providing us with proven leadership, a highly skilled and dedicated workforce, and immediate access to the light helicopter and UAV markets," said Sikorsky President Steve Finger. "Their ability for rapid prototyping makes them an excellent choice for advanced concept evaluation and their high focus on product safety aligns well with Sikorsky's own. Our mutual strengths, combined competencies, and spectrum of aircraft and aftermarket services will create new opportunities for the employees of both organizations and creates value for our shareholders.".
The leadership of both companies has approved the transaction. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Schweizer will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sikorsky.
"The purchase of Schweizer strengthens Sikorsky's capabilities in the UAV field, a key component in the Pentagon's System-of-Systems concept, which integrates surveillance, information, battle management and precision strike systems," Finger said. "Adding light rotorcraft and fixed-wing reconnaissance product lines to its portfolio, will better position Sikorsky to compete in the fast-growing Homeland Security market as well.".
Sikorsky, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in rotorcraft design, manufacturing and service. It builds helicopters in the intermediate to heavy weight classes.
Schweizer, based in Elmira, NY, is the oldest privately owned aircraft manufacturer in the United States. "We have grown to the point where we can benefit from the increase in financial, technical and marketing resources that Sikorsky offers," said company President Paul Schweizer.
Schweizer began operations in 1930 and was incorporated in 1939. The company employs 421 workers. Its production and maintenance employees are represented by the United Auto Workers. The Schweizer workforce and management team are expected to remain in place following the acquisition. Randy Simpson, previously S/H-92 program director at Sikorsky, will become general manager of Schweizer and relocate to the company's headquarters in New York.
In the U.S., Schweizer has operated for nearly 25 years as a subcontractor to Sikorsky, fabricating parts and assemblies for the BLACK HAWK, NAVAL HAWK and SUPER STALLION helicopters.
Schweizer Aircraft has produced 2160 sailplanes, 2650 agricultural airplanes, more than 60 special purpose fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned vehicles, and more than 900 helicopters. The company manufactures three proprietary helicopters: the piston-powered Model 300C and 300CBi helicopters and the turbine-powered Model 333; two types of covert reconnaissance aircraft: the SA 2-37B and RU-38B; and, the unmanned Fire Scout VTUAV air vehicle under subcontract to Northrop Grumman.
Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, of Hartford, Conn., which provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries. Sikorsky helicopters occupy a prominent international position in the intermediate to heavy range of 11,700 lb. (5,300 kg.) to 73,500 lb. (33,000 kg.) gross weight. The company's helicopters are used by all branches of the United States armed forces, along with military services and commercial operators in more than 40 nations.
This release includes "forward looking statements" as defined under securities laws, including statements about the future operations of the business. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from the statements. These include risks and uncertainties inherent in closing an agreed transaction, in realizing the anticipated benefits of combining businesses and in obtaining addtional business to increase revenues.