Paramount Aerospace Industries (PAI) has announced that the business rescue plans of the Aerospace Development Corporation (ADC) are in the final phase of implementation.
ADC manufactures the Advanced, High-performance, Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (Ahrlac).
ADC was placed into business rescue in February after shareholders, Paramount Aerospace Holdings and the Potgieter family, made an application to the North Gauteng High Court.
At the time, ADC was beset by a range of financial, commercial and operational challenges triggered as a result of the breakdown in the relationship between the shareholders.
A business rescue practitioner was appointed in April.
PAI has since acquired ADC and its subsidiaries in line with the business rescue plans.
The newly formed PAI brought new management with a wealth of aerospace engineering and aviation industry experience to the programme.
The state-of-the-art factory at Wonderboom Airport has been operational for several months under PAI’s stewardship, with manufacturing being ramped up to ensure the timeous delivery of aircraft to customers around the world.
About 85% of the original staff of ADC have been retained.
PAI has provided and facilitated significant capital as part of the business rescue process in the form of both post commencement funding, working capital, capital investment and the assumption of liabilities and loan repayments, in accordance with the provisions of the respective plans.
Further capital will be injected into the business over the coming months to support both marketing initiatives and manufacturing.
PAI CEO Alison Crooks says this is great news for the future of the aircraft, for PAI, for the South African aerospace industry, as well as for the global aircraft market.
Paramount’s decision, more than a decade ago, to fund the development of the Ahrlac was a matter of national pride and came at a time when the local aerospace industry was searching for a project that would invigorate the sector.
“Our passion for the country and for innovation is reflected in the direct investment of almost R1-billion into the project. We are grateful that this strategic programme is now secured and that we can focus on a brighter future.
“We are delighted to have retained most of the employees who worked on the Ahrlac programme for years and to have created employment for many capable people through our efforts,” Crooks notes.
She adds that the company is excited about its new management team, made up of experts in aircraft engineering, industrialisation and production, who are focusing on the manufacture of the aircraft and its delivery to customers.