Sabena Diversifies

Sabena Diversifies

Sabena technics, supported by its shareholders Sagard, BPI France and Towerbrook, completes the full acquisition of the Héli-Union Group and strengthens its position as a key player in the military helicopter maintenance sector.

The company says the acquisition of Héli-Union is fully in line with the group’s strategy to build a leading European player in the market for the supply and maintenance of helicopters. This strategy initiated 10 years ago through organic growth then accelerated in 2020 — thanks to the acquisition of Aeromecanic in Marseille-Marignane — and is now taking on greater scope with the creation of a helicopter division, which will represent a third of their turnover.

With 350 employees, French-company Héli-Union has become a player in the maintenance of rotary wings, carrying out numerous operations, particularly for the French State.

Thanks to the consolidation with the activities of Sabena technics, half of the French military helicopter fleet will now benefit from the services provided by the group. A strong reference, on which Sabena technics wishes to rely on for its export development.

“The acquisition of Heli-Union represents a major strategic step for Sabena technics. We are now able to provide a rotary wing offer similar to our fixed wing offer for military aircraft. Doing so, we are strengthening our position as an independent European MRO provider of efficient and robust solutions in line with the growing expectations of our customers. Our two Groups share a similar culture and human values. We are fully confident in our ability to achieve a perfect integration and are convinced that this merger will create value,” said Philippe Rochet, CEO of Sabena technics.

Through this acquisition, Sabena technics also strengthens its training capacities, especially for pilots, as well as its international presence through locations in six new countries. For the sake of business continuity, Patrick Molis will join the board of directors of Sabena technics while Jonathan Cosson will take over the general management of Héli-Union, with the aim of expanding their scope by integrating the helicopter activities of Sabena technics.

Separately, Sabena technics has successfully delivered a Bombardier G7500 to an undisclosed VVIP customer after a complete system modification campaign, to add Self-Defense System (SDS) capabilities. Sabena technics has carried out the entire work in-house, under full EASA certification standards, including: development of the first EASA STC for Leonardo Miysis DIRCM system installation on this ultra-long-range business jet; complete manufacture and integration of the mechanical and electrical kits; full integration of the system; and the test campaigns.

Using its capabilities and partnerships with leading aircraft system manufacturers, Sabena technics has been taking part in integrating self-protection systems on various aircraft including C-130, Boeing and Airbus Head of State.

“This is a great new opportunity to demonstrate the strong know-how we have acquired on aircraft protection system integration. Our growing portfolio of projects indicates our ability to successfully design, manufacture, install and certify any SDS system on any aircraft type with any OEM,” said Daniel Soltani, SVP sales and business development at Sabena technics.

The aircraft was delivered on schedule.