AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Tata Sons have signed a Shareholders’ Agreement for the formation of an Indian joint venture company which will establish in India a final assembly line for the AW119 helicopter for the worldwide market. The agreement was signed in New Delhi today by Mr. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland and Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons. The joint venture company will be responsible for AW119 final assembly, completion and delivery while AgustaWestland will retain responsibility for worldwide marketing and sales. The first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered from the new facility in 2011 with production forecast to rise to 30 aircraft per year to meet worldwide demand.
Mr. Giuseppe Orsi, CEO, AgustaWestland speaking after the signing ceremony said "It gives us great pleasure to have achieved this important agreement with such a leading industrial partner in India. The establishment of a Joint Venture to set up an AW119 assembly line in India will provide extraordinary industrial opportunities both in the country and worldwide through the synergies generated by AgustaWestland and Tata Sons capitalizing upon the depth of their respective resources. We are committed to enabling Tata Sons to play an increasing role as an aerospace enterprise and to jointly exploiting future prospects in the growing Indian helicopter market.” It is envisaged that the joint venture company would be a supplier for the current Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter (RSH) programme of the Indian Armed Forces, for which AgustaWestland has already proposed the AW119 to be manufactured in India. Additionally, AgustaWestland and Tata Sons are exploring further commercial, technical and industrial collaboration opportunities in the rotorcraft industry to strengthen their strategic relationship.
Tata companies operate in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. They are, by and large, based in India and have significant international operations. The total revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $70.8 billion (around Rs325-334 crore) in 2008-09, with 64.7 per cent of this coming from business outside India, and they employ around 357,000 people worldwide. The Tata name has been respected in India for 140 years for its adherence to strong values and business ethics. Every Tata company or enterprise operates independently. Each of these companies has its own board of directors and shareholders, to whom it is answerable. There are 28 publicly listed Tata enterprises and they have a combined market capitalization of some $60 billion, and a shareholder base of 3.5 million.