One of the oldest active aircraft manufacturers in the world, Aircraft Industries – LET Kunovice, which was managed by Russian mining company UGMK, is once again controlled by investors from the Czech Republic, the homeland of the company founded in 1936.
In a statement released on Wednesday, LET confirmed that it was taken over by the Omnipol Group, a conglomerate in the Czech Republic that offers technology solutions for the aeronautical and defense industry.
Omnipol also controls Czech manufacturer AERO Vodochody Aerospace, best known for the L-39 Albatros military jet. The value of the deal, which involved the entirety of the manufacturer’s shares, was not disclosed.
UGMK took control of LET in 2008, when it acquired a 51% stake in the company. In 2013, the Russian group consolidated its stake, acquiring the remaining 49% of the Czech manufacturer based in Prague.
LET was in a very difficult position after the imposition of trade sanctions against Russia in connection with the invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24th.
“There are not many traditional Czech manufacturing companies on the market, so it is our duty to maintain and further develop their production. After successfully saving one legend in the field of aviation, the company Aero Vodochody, we want to help save another great representative of the Czech aviation industry,” said Jiří Podpěra, President of Omnipol.
The chairman of the Czech group also said that the board of LET had started talks to obtain new suppliers of components to replace supplies imported from Russia. The manufacturer’s main product is the L-410 twin-engine utility turboprop, an aircraft that has more than 1,200 units produced since 1970 and operated in more than 60 countries.