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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

BasEl Bids for Fairchild Dornier

FRANKFURT, Germany -- A Russian consortium backed by billionaire aluminum mogul Oleg Deripaska has made an offer to take over bankrupt German aircraft maker Fairchild Dornier, the court-appointed administrator overseeing the company said Monday.

Bankruptcy administrator Eberhard Braun said the offer from Irkutsk Aviation Industrial Association, which makes Su-27 and Su-30 military jets, and aluminum company Base Element faces an in-depth financial and legal review before it can be voted on by creditors at a Nov. 5 meeting. No details were released.

Base Element, or BasEl, is part of the business empire of Deripaska, one of the country's handful of billionaires.

Braun is seeking new investors to save at least part of the German-U.S. regional jet builder, which filed for protection from creditors in April. German officials hope restructuring can save many of the 3,600 jobs here.

Both Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der and Edmund Stoiber, prime minister of Bavaria, where Fairchild Dornier is based, say they have approached President Vladimir Putin about Russian involvement in keeping the company afloat.

About 2,100 workers remain on the job, and Braun has said some of those laid off could be called back if an investor takes over the company's project to build the 728, a new 70-seat jet.

The plane exists only in prototype, and the company says it would take $1 billion to bring it to market.

Paul Duffy, a Moscow-based aviation consultant, said that Deripaska, whose company has a stake in the Aviacor aircraft maker in Samara, could take over the 728 project and bring Russian workers to Germany to acquire Western production expertise.

"What he wants to do is increase the skills and capabilities of his workers," Duffy said.

Russia needs up-to-date regional aircraft, but native versions remain largely on the drawing board, Duffy said. "The thing about the 728 is, it actually exists."

Russia needs mid-size jets to connect remote cities but has had to rely on aging, Soviet-designed Yak-40 and Tu-134 planes. Both models are more than 30 years old.