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Textron acquires electric aircraft maker Pipistrel for $319m

written by Hannah Dowling | April 19, 2022

Pipistrel Velis Electro electric aircraft in flight. (Pipistrel)

Textron has completed its acquisition of Slovenian electric aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel for approximately $319 million.

Notably, Pipistrel’s electric light aircraft, Velis Electro, became the world’s first electric aircraft to receive full type-certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency in 2020, and remains the only one of its kind to hold this certification.

Since 1989, Pipistrel has delivered over 2,500 light aircraft, including training aircraft and gliders, powered by both traditional combustion and electric propulsion.

However, the manufacturer has focused heavily on electric aircraft in recent years and is considered a global pioneer in the space.

Textron said in a statement that under its care, Pipistrel will have access to “greater resources, technical and regulatory expertise and a global aircraft sales and support network” that will allow the company to continue its work on developing and certifying electric and hybrid-electric aircraft.

“Pipistrel has already achieved what many other companies only aspire to – certifying and delivering highly regarded electric aircraft to customers around the world,” said Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly.

“We are excited to accelerate Pipistrel’s development and to welcome its talented people into our organisation, where we will pool expertise to make Textron a world leader in sustainable aircraft for a wide range of missions.”

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Textron stated that Pipistrel will remain a “distinct aviation brand” within Textron, alongside other brands under the company including Cessna, Beechcraft, and Bell.

Its headquarters, research and development, and manufacturing will remain in Slovenia and Italy, where Textron plans to make additional investments to expand manufacturing and product development capabilities, the company said.

Pipistrel joins other similar ventures under Textron’s “eAviation” unit, which is focused on investing in sustainable aviation solutions and urban air mobility.

“With Pipistrel, we have the opportunity to take an already great aircraft manufacturer and make it greater still,” said Textron eAviation CEO Rob Scholl.

“We look forward to working with its remarkable team and helping the business achieve its full potential.”

Pipistrel’s founder and CEO, Ivo Boscarol, will remain a minority shareholder of Pipistrel with an approximately 10 per cent interest for a two-year period, during which he will advise on future product plans and strategies.

The cash purchase price of €218 million includes the amount for which his minority interest will be purchased at the end of the two-year period.

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