Carlyle Group buys aviation tech company

DALLAS (AP) - The Carlyle Group will acquire ARINC Inc., a private communications and engineering firm owned largely by major airlines, the company said Thursday.

Details of the acquisition by the private equity firm were not released, but the airlines that hold 90 percent of ARINC stock stand to make millions, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, said it expects to get $194 million in proceeds and record a gain of $140 million when the sale closes Oct. 31.

UAL Corp., the parent of United Air Lines, said in a filing that it expects to get more than $125 million and gain more than $40 million for its share.

The airlines announced in April that they planned to sell ARINC, a 77-year-old military and aviation communications company based in Annapolis, Md.

ARINC had $890 million in revenue in 2005, two-thirds of it from the U.S. military. The company makes wireless communications systems for the military and for air-to-ground communications in the commercial aviation industry.

'We have long admired ARINC's leadership position and impressive track record of growth,' said Peter Clare, Carlyle's managing director and head of its Global Aerospace and Defense sector. 'We believe that ARINC is well positioned to capitalize on several favorable macro trends in both its commercial and government market segments.'

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

ARINC, based in Annapolis, Md., has regional offices in London and Singapore, and employs more than 3,300 people.

The company's 2006 annual report, in addition to a dozen airlines, lists Boeing Co., Ford Motor Co. and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. as principal shareholders.

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