April 27, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
The organizer of an effort to make a counter offer for the purchase of Cirrus Design said investors have decided to see what happens before preparing a purchase package. The investors, according to aerospace consultant Brian Foley, feel an offer from the China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA) could be approved as early as May.
Foley, formerly in marketing for Boeing and Dassault Falcon Jet, said the process of organizing an investor group has led to the discovery of others outside his group who are also interested in keeping companies like Cirrus in American hands.
For now, it is a wait-and-see situation, with the cognoscenti placing their bets on the approval and completion of the deal with CAIGA.
While the current majority investor is Bahraini-backed Arcapita, the Chinese deal is for 100 percent of the company, “…leaving no U.S. ownership, which has been a major cause of consternation,” Foley said.
Foley said his group is ready to re-energize if the China deal fails, as are certain other independent investors or groups. Foley did not elaborate on how many there might be, or how many investors he has organized.
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.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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