Now that we are past the notional mid-day cut-off in Europe and east coast USA for 1st April pranks, it’s time for us to come clean and confirm this was not a true story – although given our inbox, Twitter etc, there were certainly some people who believed it.
The clues were there to be had, though, as “Pierwszy Kwietnia” translates as “First of April” and “Worek Pieniędzy” as “Money Bags”.
HeliHub.com understands that UAE dealer Quest Aviation Services are to buy manufacturer MD Helicopters. In a surprise move, Quest believes that the scope for the MD product line is much bigger than its recently past record, which has seen single figure production over the last five years as a whole for each of the three NOTAR products – MD520N, MD600N and MD Explorer. While the MD530F has provided work for many MD employees, the military orders from Afghanistan (6 aircraft), Saudi Arabia (12) and Kurdistan (12) are all now delivered, and the US Army cancelled the AAS progam on budget grounds. With Quest already representing MD in both India and China, there is talk of a large military order from the latter which is believed to rest on one of the newly announced MD530G or MD540F upgraded models.
Quest have yet to confirm whether they are buying just the Patriarch Partners majority share, or the whole company including that of the minority Dutch shareholder. Part of the funding for the deal is being provided by Pierwszy Kwietnia Polska Sp. z o.o, based in the Polish capital, Warsaw, and their director Worek Pieniędzy will be taking a place on the board of MD Helicopters. Despite MD’s investment in production facilities in Mexico, it now seems more likely that costs will be reduced further with production moving to Poland in due course.
Quest declined to be drawn on the monetary value of the transaction.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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