Dubai-based investment house Medrar Financial Group has signed an agreement to take a majority stake in Diamond Aircraft Holdings, London, Canada, a move that will provide much-needed financial backing for the company’s D-Jet single jet program.
Diamond has long been searching for investment backing for the D-Jet program, but previously had been able to raise only a portion of the estimated $90 million needed to bring the aircraft to market. Earlier this year, the company suspended the flight-test program and laid off most workers associated with the D-Jet after the Canadian government denied its request for financial assistance.
Activity on the program resumed last summer after the company obtained partial funding, but Diamond Aircraft President Peter Maurer said that financing was “not nearly enough” to see the program through to fruition and that the company would work to line up the remaining funding.
Terms of the agreement with Medrar were not disclosed, but CEO Jamil Marmarchi says, “Medrar will ensure the company’s capital needs are met and Diamond continues to lead the industry with emphasis on enhancing the D-Jet market status.”
The financing comes shortly after rival Piper Aircraft decided to shelve its single-jet offering, the Piper Altaire, saying the development costs could not be recovered in the current market.
But Marmachi says, “The current state of the economy highlights the need and potential for aircraft like the D-Jet. People will always continue to travel in the short- to medium-distance range.” Maurer has estimated that the D-Jet, which resumed flight testing in September, would reach the market in two years, once all financing was in place.