China Company to Acquire Hawker Beechcraft for $1.79 Billion

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jul. 9, 2012 3:04 pm  

Hawker Beechcraft of Wichita, Kan., says it has agreed to be acquired by a Beijing-based aerospace manufacturer in a $1.79 billion deal.

Hawker Beechcraft of Wichita, Kan., said Monday that it has agreed to be acquired by a Beijing-based aerospace manufacturer in a $1.79 billion deal.

Hawker, which employs about 450 workers at Adams Field in Little Rock, said the deal could save "thousands of American jobs," including those in Little Rock and Wichita.

Hawker, which filed Chapter 11 bankrupcy in May and preliminary reorganization plans in Kansas on June 30, said it reached the deal with Superior Aviation Beijing Co. Ltd. as part of its review of strategic options.

In a news release, Hawker said Superior plans to make Hawker Beechcraft "its flagship investment; maintain Hawker Beechcraft's U.S. headquarters, management team and employees; and continue product development throughout its commercial product lines."

Under the deal, Superior will acquire Hawker Beechcraft for $1.79 billion and make payments over the next six weeks to keep the company going until the close of the purchase, which remains subject to U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval and the auction process.

The companies say that if purchase negotiations "are not concluded in a timely manner," Hawker will proceed with its banruptcy reorganization plan, through which the company hopes to emerge "as a standalone entity with a more focused portfolio of aircraft."

Hawker said the deal does not include its Beechcraft Defense Company, or HBDC.

Hawker filed for bankrupcy after the recession amid slowing demand for its aircraft.

The full news release from Hawker:

Hawker Beechcraft Executes Exclusivity Agreement with Superior Aviation Regarding Strategic Combination

WICHITA, Kan. (July 9, 2012) - Hawker Beechcraft, Inc. (Hawker Beechcraft) today announced that it has executed an exclusivity agreement with Superior Aviation Beijing Co., Ltd. (Superior), a Beijing-based aerospace manufacturer, regarding a strategic combination. Should the transaction be completed, Superior intends to maintain Hawker Beechcraft's existing operations while also investing substantial capital in the company and its business and general aviation product line, saving thousands of American jobs, including in Wichita, Kan. and Little Rock, Ark. Hawker Beechcraft entered into this agreement as part of its ongoing review of strategic options, which included continuing to operate as a standalone entity, and decided to proceed with Superior after determining that its proposal would create the greatest value for the company and position it for long-term growth.

The transaction with Superior would not include Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company (HBDC), which would remain a separate entity. HBDC will continue to operate its highly successful T-6 trainer program and pursue the final certification of the AT-6 light attack aircraft.



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