30 October 2012

Hawker Beechcraft Buyout Off

As I previously reported Hawker Beechcraft was under offer to be purchased by Superior Aviation Beijing. The deal looked close to a done-deal in the middle of the summer, but it failed to be completed and Hawker Beechcraft is back to looking at emerging from bankruptcy on its own.

So what scuttled the deal? That depends of who you listen to. Different sources have each attributed it to:

  • national security concerns as "the company's defense operations were integrated with its civilian businesses that proved difficult to untangle"
  • "advisers in the U.S. had trouble negotiating with Chinese representatives unfamiliar with U.S. finance and bankruptcy law."
  • CEO of Hawker Beechcraft, Steve Miller, had attributed the failure to "China-bashing by U.S. presidential candidates may have contributed to failure of the talks"
  • A press release from Hawker Beechcraft simply said that, "the proposed transaction with Superior could not be completed on terms acceptable to the company."

So what now?

The company has indicated that it plans to emerge from bankruptcy protection as a stand-alone company and will be renamed Beechcraft Corporation. The new entity will focus on the company's most profitable products, which will mean piston aircraft manufacturing and refurbishing older aircraft, including turboprop and diesel upgrades for piston planes. In other words ending jet production.

The latest news this week is that the Beechcraft Premier will be produced as a single engine turboprop design with seating for up to 11 passengers, that looks remarkably like a Pilatus PC-12.

It will be interesting to see what happens over time as the company emerges from bankruptcy protection.

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