Innovative Austrian aircraft manufacturer Diamond Aircraft Group announced on Christmas Eve that it had been bought by Chinese industrial powerhouse Wanfeng Aviation Co. Ltd.
The move comes only 12 months after Wanfeng took a controlling 60% interest in Diamond's Canadian manufacturing operation.
Wanfeng CEO Bin Chen will take control of Diamond as Chairman, whilst Diamond founder Christian Dries will step down to take up an advisory role.
“Diamond is my life’s work," Dries said, "In the interest of a successful long term future, we needed to find the right partner to continue our good work. Wanfeng and specifically Mr Bin Chen share my vision of the future of general aviation and are investing for the right reasons, with a long term strategy and the resources to see their vision through.
"I look forward to seeing Diamond develop further and based on our successful year long partnership in Diamond Canada, I am fully satisfied that I leave Diamond in very good hands.”
Diamond Aircraft has said it expects that Wanfeng will add the research and technological talent of Diamond Austria and Austro Engine GmbH and continue to develop new technologies and aircraft models, including the Dart turboprop aerobatic trainer and the DA50 models, for the global general aviation market.
"We were attracted to Diamond’s leadership position in the market”, said Bin Chen, “Under the 25-year leadership of founder Mr Christian Dries, the Diamond team has developed a broad range of superb aircraft that have gained worldwide respect for their performance, efficiency, safety and innovation.
"Based on this excellent foundation, we intend to take Diamond to a long term leadership position in worldwide general aviation."
Wanfeng Aviation Co. Ltd is owned by Wanfeng Auto Holdings Group, a global company with more than 60 subsidiaries throughout the world and employing over 12,000 people in various industries including automotive manufacturing, aviation, investment and real estate.