Taiwan to Privatize Lone Aircraft Maker AIDC

Taiwan to Privatize Lone Aircraft Maker AIDC

The 44-year-old firm turned a profit for first time only in 2007 and has since stayed in the black.

TAIPEI — Taiwan said Tuesday it would privatize its sole aircraft maker Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) as part of a government drive to offload large state-owned assets.

Economic minister Chang Chia-chu told parliament Monday that he would agree to a plan submitted by the firm to sell at least half the government's 100% stake.

While no timeline has been set, Wu Fong-sheng, an official at the economic ministry in charge of the sale, said he expects the company to be listed on the local stock exchange next year.

Privatization plans have swirled since the mid-1990s after the firm produced the last of its Indigenous Defence Fighters (IDF) -- the island's only locally designed fighter -- as the air force moved to the U.S.-made F-16.

AIDC has since become a supplier of commercial parts, producing components for several aerospace giants including Boeing, Airbus and Sikorsky while keeping maintenance contracts from the air force.

"Evidently the company's competitive edge has been boosted over the past few years," Wu said.

The 44-year-old firm turned a profit for first time only in 2007 and has since stayed in the black.

The company registered Tw$1.25 billion (US $42.1 million) in net profit in 2012, up from Tw$1.12 billion the previous year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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