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Clifford Chance advises Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries on an aerospace and defence joint venture

17 September 2015

Clifford Chance advises Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries on an aerospace and defence joint venture

International law firm Clifford Chance advised Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries on an aerospace and defence joint venture between Boeing, Alsalam Aircraft Company, and Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries.

The joint venture signed on 26 August and the centre will support the Kingdom’s commercial and defence rotorcraft platforms, including the Boeing-built AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Chinook and AH-6. It will be a fully integrated support centre for the repair and overhaul of helicopters in Jeddah and Riyadh.

Through this joint venture, the companies involved are focused on expanding the Saudi workforce through creation of self-sustaining jobs, technical and aerospace skills development for local workers and further involvement of the Saudi aerospace supply base.

Formation of the joint venture is expected to occur in late 2015 or early 2016, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Lead Partner, Antony Single commented: "We were delighted to have the opportunity to advise Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries on this strategic joint venture. As global and regional leaders in the aerospace and defence sector, we are pleased to have been able to demonstrate our experience here."

“This project will strengthen and diversify the Saudi nationals’ skills and provide long-term investment in our company’s future workforce, contributing to the Kingdom goals of localization, economic growth and transfer of state-of-the art technology and know-how,” said Nader A. Khalawi, chief executive officer of SAEI. “Designed to meet the growing demand for support to the kingdom’s expanding fleet of military and civil helicopters, this is an in-country capability of which we can all be proud.”

The transaction was led by Middle Eastern Aerospace Partner Antony Single with Senior Associate Jan Knop. The global team included Omar Rashid (Partner, Riyadh), Daniel Royle (Senior Associate, Riyadh) on Saudi law; Daryl Fairbairn (Counsel, New York) on IP; Marc Besen (Partner, Düsseldorf) and Dimitri Slobodenjuk (Senior Associate, Düsseldorf) on Antitrust; and Wendy Wysong (Partner, Washington) and Megan Gordon (Partner, Washington) on US regulatory advice.

The Clifford Chance Corporate team based in Saudi Arabia continues to advise on some of the country's most prominent deals including advising the Saudi Public Investment Fund on the US$1.1 billion acquisition of a significant minority stake in Korea's Posco E&C, Savola Group on the SAR 910 million sale of Savola Packaging Systems Company to Takween Advanced Industries Company, Bahri on the US$1.3 billion merger of the fleets and operations of Bahri and Vela International Marine Limited and Aujan Industries Co. on the sale of approximately half of the equity in its beverage business to The Coca-Cola Company for US$980 million.