ST Engineering’s US subsidiary, Vision Technologies Aerospace, has entered into an agreement to acquire General Electric’s nacelle unit, Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS).

The deal is worth $630 million (£479 million).

MRAS manufactures engine nacelle systems for both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, MRAS has  800 employees and specialises in the design, development, production and sale of nacelles, thrust reversers and aerostructures, as well as the sale of spare parts.

The purchase is part of ST Engineering’s strategic plan to invest in new growth areas. ST Engineering says the acquisition will enable it to scale up its aerospace capabilities by moving into the manufacture of high-value nacelle components and replacement parts.

MRAS programmes

MRAS’ nacelle programmes include the A320neo powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engine, which is Airbus’ new-engine option for its A320 aircraft family. In partnership with Safran Nacelles, which was awarded the single-source contract by Airbus for A320neo’s LEAP-1A engine nacelles in 2012, MRAS has delivered over 500 LEAP-1A units so far.

Other single-source programmes in MRAS’ portfolio include COMAC’s C919 powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1C turbofan engine and COMAC’s ARJ21 powered by General Electric’s CF34 engine. MRAS also provides nacelles for Bombardier’s Global 7000/8000 series.

Competitive edge

Vincent Chong, President & CEO of ST Engineering, said: “ST Engineering keeps a constant look-out to acquire companies in our core business areas or adjacencies that will contribute profitable revenue streams and sharpen our competitive edge. We are excited by the prospects of our investment in MRAS, which is a high-value and complementary business that will enhance our scale, global reach and capture synergies for the Group.”

David Joyce, Vice Chairman of GE and President and CEO of GE Aircraft Engines, added: “I am confident that ST Engineering is the right choice for the future.  They are an outstanding partner with a dedication to engineering and operations excellence. We look forward to our continued work with the Group and the Middle River team as an important supplier of nacelles on our propulsion systems for many years to come.”

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