December 14, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
An agreement has been reached by parent company Teledyne Technologies on a proposed sale of Continental Motors and Mattituck Services to AVIC International Holding Corp. of China. AVIC had $6 billion in sales in 2009 and has substantial business operations in aviation.
The company is to be sold, under the proposal, for $186 million in cash. The 80-year-old company is to retain, under the agreement, its service centers in Fairhope, Ala., and Mattituck, N.Y. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011. It must be approved by the Chinese government, and must receive clearance in the United States under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. It must also be approved by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
If the sale is completed, Continental Motors will remain in Mobile, Ala., and retain current senior management. The proposed owner has pledged to continue investing in technology development, including diesel engines.
AVIC is a partner and supplier to Boeing, Airbus, Honeywell, and engine manufacturer Snecma. The purchase promises entry into the potential Chinese market. While there are 230,000 general aviation aircraft in the United States, China has as yet only 900 small aircraft. That market is expected to grow over the next decade.
Continental produced its first commercial engine in 1929.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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