The second largest aircraft factory in the Czech Republic is awaiting privatization
The state-owned company LOM Prague, which is the second largest aircraft manufacturer in the Czech Republic, is facing a major restructuring. According to the available information, the company is proceeding to partial or complete privatization.
“It simply came to our notice then. For the second year in a row, they did not receive any contract from their owner, the Ministry of Defense. The wild privatization, which was prepared by the former management of the resort, led by Martin Barták, but is not catching. The management understands the current measures of the ministry, both parties will act in agreement, “said a well-informed source of the daily E15 from the aviation industry, subject to anonymity.
Aero Vodochody, owned by the Penta financial group, has repeatedly expressed interest in LOM. There is also speculation that the factory in Prague’s Malešice could be privatized by Petr Kellner’s PPF. “I would consider it more appropriate for a potential new strategic partner or owner to be someone in the industry who has brought in new technologies, know-how and, of course, contracts,” added source E15. In this context, he reminded that the alleged applicant is also the American Honeywell.
Banks are supposed to help the business
LOM to get cash as soon as possible, next year the banks must help him. “We have to find a financing model,” Jan Vylita, the ministry’s secretary general, told ČTK. The restructuring plan was approved by the company’s supervisory board on Thursday, and the individual steps were proposed by the auditing firm KPMG. According to Vylita, LOM will sell off unnecessary stocks and reduce costs. At the same time, the rights to repair and modernize helicopters and aircraft engines of Russian and Ukrainian production are to be clarified.
According to Vylita, the factory has purchased a technical part that you do not need now. “Nowadays, the question is whether to keep them for some future production or sell them quickly so that the company has cash,” added Vylita.
I don’t expect any release yet
LOM was created by merging air repair shops in Malešice and a similarly focused company in Kbely, so it is now fragmented in several places. “In Malešice, a large part of the area is unused. Some buildings in Kbely and Malešice are only partially used, so this condition needs to be optimized somehow, ”Vylita explained.
It is not yet clear whether about one thousand LOM employees will continue to have some work to do. “It simply came to our notice then. This is related to the strategic focus of the company, which has a large number of experts, “said Vylita.
The military has no money
According to the E15, the company still has some overhauls of three Mi-171 transport helicopters, which are now deployed in Afghanistan. However, there are questions about other orders from the Czech army, and investments in further repairs and modernizations are not expected.
According to the White Paper on Defense, the army will sell all Mi-24/35 combat machines and focus only on transport helicopters. However, there will be no massive training on them in the near future. Czech pilots and technicians have already completed three rotations in Afghanistan, and it is likely that the helicopter base in Přerov will be disrupted. Its staff is therefore waiting to move to Náměště nad Oslavou. In addition, the ministry is struggling with a lack of money.
We will be in profit, LOM assures
“LOM will reach an annual turnover of almost two crowns. According to Czech Television, however, the audit report states that the company is poorly managed and is going bankrupt without existing production. Company spokeswoman Martina Fišerová refused, saying that the company expected a positive economic result at the end of the year. However, at the beginning of the year, the company had to deal with difficulties, production was only 60 percent and employees only went to work three days a week.“
Profits of LOM Prague in the last three years (in billions of CZK):
– modernization of Mi-171Š transport helicopters for the Czech Army
– General overhaul (GO) of Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters for the Afghan National Army
– GO of Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters for the Czech Army
– GO of Mi-17 helicopters for the Pakistan Army
– Aviation training for the Czech Army
Source: Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic
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