July 17, 2012
By Alton K. Marsh
Hawker Beechcraft has received permission from a federal bankruptcy judge to begin negotiation for the purchase of the company and all of its assets except the defense business with Superior Aviation, the Chinese owner of Superior Air Parts.
The clock is ticking on the next two things that must happen. Superior Aviation promised to send $25 million immediately to continue production of some of the jet products. Information on just which ones has not been released. Second, the negotiations must be completed in 45 days. Both companies have stated in the past that they feel it will take far less than 45 days. In 30 days, another $25 million is due to continue jet production. Unless that happens, some of the jet production lines that Superior Aviation wants to buy in the $1.79 billion deal could be shut down.
Hawker Beechcraft lawyers overcame last-minute objections from the AFL-CIO that could have derailed the 45 day “exclusive” negotiation. It is still subject, once the deal has been reached, to public auction, approvals in China, and approvals in the United States. If no deal is reached, and that seems unlikely, Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings would continue and other bidders would be considered.
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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