Leonardo buys Swiss Kopter and its SH09 light helicopter program

The announcement fell last week, at Heli-Expo in California: the Italian aeronautical group Leonardo has decided to acquire the Swiss company Kopter Group, formerly known as Marenco-Swisshelicopter and today run by a fund of investment held by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut. With just over 300 employees, Kopter is just a start-up compared to the Italian giant. However, this particularly innovative Swiss company had a strong argument: its new SH09 light helicopter, which should therefore be included in Leonardo's catalog.

Leonardo will spend at least $ 185 million on this purchase, but a ten-year earn-out clause should no doubt lead the Italian group to pay larger sums (up to $ 500 million) on the success of SH09. is there. For Leonardo, such a transaction is seen as an alternative solution to the in-house development of a new light single-line helicopter that would have cost just as much, but imposed several years of development, where the SH09 has been flying since 2014 and ends its development.

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The Kopter SH09 has decidedly elegant lines, and seems to display excellent performance for a device in its class

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