August 1, 2009
By Mike Collins
An effort by Cirrus Design Chairman Alan Klapmeier to purchase the company’s SF50 Vision single-engine jet program has stalled.
“Basically we’ve put an offer in front of them and we’ve negotiated,” he said July 31 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. “It doesn’t appear we’re going to be able to reach an agreement.”
In June Klapmeier, who co-founded the company with his brother Dale, told AOPA he’d talked with more than 100 potential investors and said that he felt adequate capital would be available to make a deal, despite the overall economic conditions.
“It’s certainly disappointing,” Klapmeier said. “We thought this was the best way to accelerate the program.” He said in June that Cirrus so far has spent $35 million to design and test the Vision, and estimated that another $120 million would be required to bring the jet to market.
“The negotiations haven’t collapsed because we were very close,” said Cirrus Chief Executive Officer Brent Wouters. He affirmed Cirrus’ commitment to the development of the jet. “Our program has been going forward. To me, there’s no change to that. We’re going down the path we’ve been going down.”
Cirrus is funding development of the jet out of its cash flow, Wouters said. “We’re moving into the detail design phase.”
“I’m disappointed,” Klapmeier said. “But I’m not going away.”
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
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