General Dynamics To Buy Jet Aviation

Business Jet Traveler » October 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 - 5:00am

General Dynamics, owner of Gulfstream Aerospace, has agreed to pay about $2.25 billion to buy Zurich-based Jet Aviation from the Permira Funds private equity group. Permira bought the company in 2005 for an undisclosed sum that was said to be about $700 million. Subject to antitrust legal approval, General Dynamics' acquisition of Jet Aviation should be complete by year-end. The company will operate as an independent business unit and will continue to use its own brand name and that of its Midcoast Aviation maintenance chain.

According to General Dynamics, the acquisition of Jet Aviation gives its flight-support business a global dimension to supplement the six U.S. bases of its General Dynamics Aviation Services subsidiary. Jet Aviation has 26 facilities throughout Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Asia.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy