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Government Reviews Cirrus Acquisition
April 18, 2011
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  • By William Garvey
    April 17, 2011

    The management at Cirrus Aircraft is awaiting word from the U.S. government regarding clearance to proceed with the Minnesota planemaker’s acquisition by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd., (AVIC).

    The $200+ million takeover, announced Feb. 28, has met with opposition that Cirrus executives maintain is misplaced and potentially damaging.

    Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), whose district includes the main Cirrus plant and headquarters in Duluth, told the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) that he was concerned FJ33 engine and FADEC that powers the Vision jet, now under development by Cirrus, could be adapted by the Chinese for use in weapons systems. He has asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who chairs the committee, to block the sale until the national security concerns are satisfied.

    The committee is expected to rule on the matter soon.

    In addition to security matters, Cravaack says he is also concerned that the AVIC might transfer Cirrus production – and the jobs that go with it – to China.

    Cirrus management maintains that neither of the legislator’s concerns has merit.

    In determining the best course of action on the acquisition, CFIUS has a broad range of options available to it up to and including letting the White House decide.

    Date: 2011-04-17