Business

December 28, 2013

Beechcraft to be bought by Cessna parent company

Cessna Aircraft parent company Textron Inc. said Dec. 26 it will buy Beechcraft Corp. for approximately $1.4 billion, a deal that would combine two mainstays of Wichita’s general aviation industry.

The announcement by Providence, R.I.,-based Textron caps a year that saw Beechcraft emerge from bankruptcy largely freed from debt and its unprofitable Hawker business jet operations, which it stopped making to focus on turboprop and piston aircraft as well as trainers and light attack planes for the military.

Textron said it expects to complete the acquisition early next year.

“The acquisition of Beechcraft is a tremendous opportunity to extend our general aviation business,” Textron chairman and CEO Scott C. Donnelly said. “From our customers’ perspective, this creates a broader selection of aircraft and a larger service footprint — all sharing the same high standards of quality and innovation.”

Donnelly said Beechcraft’s line of King Air turboprop planes “perfectly complements” Cessna’s Caravan and Citation jet lineup.

Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture called the sale “an important step forward in the evolution of Beechcraft’s business.” He had said in recent months he expected the company would sell at least its idled business jet assets by the end of 2013.

“Textron’s experience in the industry and its willingness to invest in and maintain the iconic Beechcraft brand make it an ideal parent company, one that will help us continue to satisfy our customers and meet our business objectives at a faster pace,” he said.

In August, Beechcraft announced a nearly $1.4 billion order from Wheels Up, a New York-based private aviation membership company, to build up to 105 King Air 350i aircraft and to serve as Wheels Up’s North American maintenance provider. An industry expert called it the largest propeller aircraft order by value in general aviation history.

Beechcraft exited bankruptcy with roughly 5,400 employees worldwide, including about 3,300 at its headquarters. Boisture said in February that he anticipated those employment levels to remain stable.

Beechcraft has more than 36,000 aircraft in service and continues to support its Hawker business jets, according to the Textron news release.

Founded in Kansas in the 1930s, Beechcraft was bought by Canadian investment firm Onex Partners and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s private equity arm in 2007. The company struggled in the sluggish business jet market during the economic downturn that followed its purchase and filed in May 2012 for bankruptcy reorganization, from which it emerged Feb. 19.

Cessna Aircraft was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1927 and has built and delivered nearly 200,000 airplanes worldwide since then, including 6,500 Citation business jets, according to Textron. It also makes Caravan single-engine utility turboprops and single-engine piston aircraft, and provides aftermarket services including include parts, maintenance, inspection and repairs.

Too soon to say if Beechcraft faces cuts

The CEO of Textron Inc. says his aviation company’s $1.4 billion purchase of Beechcraft Corp. will require “restructuring and optimization of costs.”

But whether that means job cuts at Beechcraft’s home base in Kansas, or elsewhere, hasn’t been decided.

Textron is Cessna Aircraft’s parent company. It announced Dec. 26 that it was purchasing Wichita, Kansas,-based Beechcraft Corp. in a merger of big players in aviation.

Textron CEO Scott C. Donnelly acknowledged Friday that Beechcraft employees have been through a lot over the past few years and that the company’s bankruptcy created uncertainty for customers. But he says the merger provides great new brands to Textron’s portfolio.

The move caps a turbulent year for Beechcraft, which emerged from bankruptcy in February. Textron’s purchase is expected to close around the middle of 2014.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 19, 2014

News: McKeon on broader military authorization: Anything can ‘fail or pass’ - Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said if Congress returns after the midterm elections to weigh a broader military authorization for the battle against Islamic State, it might not pass. Defense contractor gets 7 years for giving secrets...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,203 As of Sept. 16, 2014, at least 2,203 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,823 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton has first cross-country flight from Palmdale

Northrop Grumman photograph The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System takes off from Northrop Grummanís Palmdale, Calif., facility Sept. 17 for its first cross-country flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent, River, Md. PALMDALE,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello takes a question from an audience member after discussing Air Force Research Laboratory breakthrough technologies during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>