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Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Hawker Beechcraft Pursues China Venture

Hawker Beechcraft Corp., the private- aircraft manufacturer owned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Onex Corp. (OCX),said it’s in negotiations about a joint venture that could lead to the production of planes in China.

The U.S. company has been in talks since January over a deal that may ultimately see it transfer technology to win a bigger slice of sales in the fastest growing major economy, Chief Executive Officer Bill Boisture said in an interview.

“I’ve been there three times since the first of the year and there are serious discussions about potential joint ventures,” Boisture said. While there are “real possibilities,” talks are at an early stage and a deal may initially focus on joint sales, followed by production of parts and then final assembly “over the next 10 years,” the executive said in London.

China has more than 400 billionaires and 55,000 individuals worth at least $15 million, according to the Hurun Rich List. That wealth is likely to stimulate demand for 600 corporate jets in the country through 2019, according to Bombardier Inc. (BBD/B), the world’s biggest maker of business aircraft.

Source: Bloomberg News