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Qatari fund takes stake in UK's Aeralis

Qatar's Barzan Holdings has taken a stake in UK military aircraft development firm Aeralis. (Aeralis)

The Qatar-based Al Shamal 5 investment fund has taken a stake in UK aircraft development firm Aeralis, Janes has learned.

Companies House filings on 22 September revealed that the fund was the party behind the GBP10.5 million (USD14.3 million) investment that was first announced on 16 September. The investment in the company came with the allocation of 134,892 ordinary shares in the company, along with corresponding rights related to voting, dividends, and capital distribution. As a result, the investment equates to a 17.48% holding in the company.

Qatari registration documents reveal that the Al Shamal 5 fund's significant shareholder is Barzan Holdings QSTP-LLC, an arm of the Qatari Ministry of Defence's Barzan Holdings organisation. Barzan Holdings was launched in 2018 to help the country manage defence sector research and development (R&D) programmes and investments, as well as with strategic procurements.

Prior to the disclosure of the identity of the funding, Aeralis had said that the investment had been secured to help “support the design, development, and first flight of the Advanced Jet Trainer, Aeralis's first platform”, and that the fund “has committed to investing in the next generation of cutting-edge, market-disrupting solutions and the flexible, affordable, and connected aircraft systems designed by Aeralis [that] will serve the fast-evolving requirements across the future of flying training and light combat air”.

The Aeralis training aircraft has been developed as a modular system, which allows for the engines and outer edge of the wings to be changed as required to suit the curriculum. Partners for the aircraft include Rolls-Royce, which will be providing propulsion systems for the pre-production aircraft and potential future versions of the aircraft, KBR, and Atkins.

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