January 6, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
Superior Air Parts has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy law, but only to facilitate a sale of company assets to a Textron subsidiary that is already in progress.
When Thielert Aircraft Engines, the diesel engine manufacturer based in Europe, ran into financial difficulties, court-appointed trustees decided it would be best to sell Thielert’s subsidiary, Superior Air Parts. A buyer, Avco Corp., was found, but the sale was contingent on Superior filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. On Dec. 30, 2008, the $11.5 million purchase price offered by Avco, a Textron subsidiary was accepted, and bankruptcy filings were filed Dec. 31 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Texas.
Court records state proceedings can conclude Feb. 24. In the meantime, court records indicate that Superior Air Parts is shipping parts but not manufacturing them or Vantage engines. Key personnel have been retained. Records also state that Superior lost $5.6 million in 2007 and $4.2 million in 2008. The company is reported in court filings to owe Thielert $15 million, an amount that is in dispute. See the notice of auction and sale of assets.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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