Daher buys Socata.
It’s a done deal. French equipment manufacturer Daher has officially completed its purchase of a 70-percent stake in EADS Socata, manufacturer of the TBM 850 single-engine turboprop. The purchase is part of Daher’s “Ambition 2012” strategic plan, which has the goal of establishing Daher as a “tier one” manufacturer in the aeronautics, automotive, defense, and nuclear fields. The manufacturing, services, and transport company has more than 5,000 employees and facilities at 12 international sites—seven in Europe, two in North America, two in Africa, and one in Australia. Daher first announced its intention to buy a controlling interest in Socata in July 2008.The purchase is expected to provide enough financial support for Socata to proceed with its new twin-engine business aircraft. Currently dubbed the NTx, this project was announced at the National Business Aircraft Association convention in October 2008. Mystery surrounds the NTx. Socata says it hasn’t decided whether the airplane will be a twinjet or a twin turboprop, but it has hinted that its target maximum cruise speed will be “about 20 percent faster” than its current-production, 320-knot TBM 850. That would make the NTx a 380-kt airplane.