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GE buys Avio's aviation business for $4.3 billion

Staff writer |
General Electric will buy the aviation business of Avio S.p.A., an Italy-based manufacturer of aviation propulsion components and systems for civil and military aircraft, for $4.3 billion.

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GE plans to acquire Avio's aviation business from Cinven, a leading European private equity firm that has owned Avio since 2006, and Finmeccanica, the Italian aerospace group. The transaction is subject to regulatory and governmental approvals. GE will not be purchasing Avio's space unit.

The acquisition of Avio's aviation business, which provides components for GE Aviation and other engine companies, would further GE's participation in jet propulsion, one of the most attractive sectors of the aviation industry.

Founded in 1908 and headquartered in Turin, Italy, Avio operates in four continents and employs about 5,300 people, 4,500 of whom are in Italy, including approximately 800 in the space unit. In the jet propulsion industry, Avio is a provider of low-pressure turbine systems, accessory gearboxes, geared systems, combustors and other components. Avio's 2011 revenues in the aviation sector were $2.4 billion with more than 50 percent of that revenue derived from components for GE and GE joint venture engines.

The purchase price to be paid by GE for Avio's aviation business represents a multiple of approximately 8.5x based on 2012 estimated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Avio has supplied components to GE Aviation since 1984 and has content on engines ranging from the large GE90 and GEnx turbofan engines for the commercial aircraft sector, to the smaller CT7/T700 turboshaft engine family for civil and military helicopters. These GE engines are among the best-selling in aviation and are expected to provide a profitable, long-term revenue stream for the company.

GE, parent company to GE Aviation, already has a significant presence in Italy with more than 7,000 employees in seven GE businesses at more than 20 locations in-country, including a research and development center and learning center.


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