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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deripaska Loses Bid for German Plane Maker

FRANKFURT, Germany -- A Russian consortium backed by Oleg Deripaska's Base Element has lost its bid to break into Europe's aviation industry by acquiring bankrupt German aircraft maker Fairchild Dornier.

The maintenance division of Fairchild Dornier and a business supplying parts to aircraft maker Airbus have been sold to the Swiss RUAG, a German court administrator in Frankfurt said Friday.

Administrator Eberhard Braun said RUAG was purchasing the two components for an undisclosed sum and won partly because it sought to purchase the two components together.

Fairchild's creditors and Braun had fought to sell the company as a whole but finally decided to break it up after bids for the enterprise as an entirety fell short.

Base Element, or BasEl, and its partner, jet fighter manufacturer Irkut Holding, also had set its sights on buying the Fairchild's 70-seat 728 passenger jet.

But Braun said an agreement was nearly complete to sell the company's 32-seat 328 passenger jet business to U.S.-based AvCraft Aviation LLC of Leesburg, Virginia. Because the sale involves the fusion of German and American companies, however, it still must be approved by legal authorities. He did not give a price for the deal.

The Russian Aviation and Space Agency, or Rosaviakosmos, has announced a tender for designing a Russian regional aircraft, promising the victor 3.8 billion rubles ($119 million) in budgetary funds, or 20 percent of the cost of developing the project.

Rosaviakosmos stopped taking applications in November, leaving Sukhoi, Tupolev and Myasischev Design Bureau as the only contenders.

But by gaining a part of Fairchild Dornier, the BasEl/Irkut consortium would have overtaken their competitors in the race to get budget financing for a regional aircraft -- the FD728 is a flying prototype, while all the Russian projects exist only on paper. (AP, MT)