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Onex director Tawfiq Popatia joins Spirit AeroSystems' board

Tawfiq Popatia, a director with Toronto-based Onex Corp., will manage the company's aerospace and defense activities, replacing Nigel Wright, who has taken a leave of absence to serve as chief of staff to Canada's prime minister.

Popatia also has been appointed to Spirit AeroSystems' board of directors.

Onex Corp. bought Boeing Wichita's commercial airplane business in 2005, forming Spirit AeroSystems. It also partnered with GS Capital Partners to buy Raytheon Aircraft, now Hawker Beechcraft Corp.

Popatia joined Onex in 2007, after working at Hellman & Friendman, a San Franciso-based private equity firm.

While there, he completed acquisitions, advised portfolio companies and evaluated opportunities in a number of industries, according to Onex's website.

Popatia also worked at Morgan Stanley & Co. in its mergers, acquisitions and restructuring, general industrials and financial sponsors groups.

He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia.