Sukhoi May Refinance Superjet 100 Plane Debt, Seek More Capital

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co., maker of the Superjet 100 regional aircraft, may seek to restructure debt or raise capital as it aims to reach break-even in 2015.

Sukhoi, with more than $2 billion in debt, is working on a “package of measures,” the Moscow-based maker of the Russian plane said in a statement today. The actions may also include seeking aircraft sales financing support, it said.

The company aims to achieve net positive cashflow in 2015, when sales should exceed $1.5 billion, it said. Sales are set to increase to more than $2 billion in 2018, it said.

The pace of orders for the Superjet has been lackluster as Sukhoi, which is working with Finmeccanica SpA in trying to sell the plane, struggled with quality and production. The Italian partner last month threatened to quit the alliance if Sukhoi parent United Aircraft Corp. doesn’t improve the business.

Sukhoi said it is working to boost output, with production rising to 26 aircraft this year, from five in 2011 and 12 last year, and reaching 40 units in 2014.

Russian state development bank VEB may acquire $600 million in Superjet-related debt, Kommersant reported today, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Sukhoi said 60 percent of the Superjet development was funded via credit, and that payments and commitment fulfillments are “on schedule.”

Superjet delivered its first planes to a western customer last month when Interjet, the Mexican low-fare airline, took delivery of the airliner. Success with the carrier will open the door to further orders, Giuseppe Giordo, chief executive officer of Finmeccanica’s aviation unit Alenia said on June 20.

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