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Monday November 21, 2005

Bell Helicopter and AgustaWestland announce realignment of Joint Venture

Cascina Costa, Italy and Ft. Worth, TX, USA ( Bell Helicopters & AgustaWestland Press Release) - Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc. and AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, today announced a realignment of their joint venture Bell Agusta Aerospace Company LLC (BAAC). Effective upon regulatory and other necessary approvals, Bell is selling its 25 percent interest in the AB139 medium twin helicopter program to AgustaWestland.

AgustaWestland will assume 100% ownership of all aspects of the AB139 program going forward. In return for its 25% interest, Bell will receive payments to reflect its value in the program. Specific terms of this transaction are undisclosed.

In addition, the realignment allows AgustaWestland to confirm the ability to increase its economic interests in the BA609 civil tiltrotor aircraft, which will remain within BAAC, from the original 25 percent to a maximum of 40 percent by increasing its investments during the development phase.

"Consolidating ownership of the AB139 will provide a single face to the customer, leading to increased sales and greater customer satisfaction related to follow-on support services," said AgustaWestland Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Orsi.

Bell Helicopter Chief Executive Officer Michael Redenbaugh commented, "Bell and Agusta have been partners on numerous programs since 1952, and indeed this partnership continues today on the BA609. In addition, we remain partnered on other exciting programs such as the 412 helicopter and the U.S. Presidential fleet of US101s."

BAAC (www.bellagusta.com) is a joint venture corporation that markets and supports the BA609 civil tiltrotor. The BA609, the world's first civil tiltrotor aircraft, features extended range and speed compared to traditional VTOL aircraft.


Bell Helicopter, a Textron Company, is a $2.0 billion leading producer of commercial and military helicopters, and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce of over 7,500 employees serves customers flying Bell aircraft in over 120 countries. Bell is a unit of Textron Inc., a $10 billion multi-industry company with 44,000 employees in 40 countries. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others.

AgustaWestland , a Finmeccanica company, with primary operations in Italy, the United Kingdom and USA, is a commercial enterprise offering an unrivaled range of products designed to satisfy the most diverse requirements of civil and military customers. With turnover exceeding $3.4 billion, AgustaWestland is committed to delivering outstanding products and services in globally competitive markets. Finmeccanica is Italy's leading high technology company, operating in the design and manufacture of helicopters, aero structures, satellites, space infrastructure, and missiles and defense electronics. It is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, and operates in Italy and abroad through 18 companies and four joint ventures. It employs approximately 55,200 staff in total.

  • news: BA609 Tiltrotor Achieves Airplane Mode (Jul 22,2005)
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