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.


 
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded position on Air Force training systems acquisition III contract

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman a position on the Training Systems Acquisition III indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract to support war fighter training systems at global U.S. Air Force operating locations. Twelve companies have been awarded positions on TSA III, which has a ceiling value of approximately $20.9 billion over 10 years, if...
 
 
Navy photograph

Raytheon and U.S. Navy collaborate to optimize minehunting sonar

Navy photograph The Remote Minehunting System and AN/AQS-20A Minehunting Sonar on USS Independence. Raytheon is working closely with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center — Division Newport to enhance the features of the comp...
 
 

Boston Engineering receives Air Force contract to advance UAV motor control capabilities

Boston Engineering today announced a $150,000 contract from the U.S. Air Force to enhance its UAV capabilities and to also reduce drone noise. Specifically, Boston Engineering will demonstrate an embedded motor control platform to accelerate U.S. Air Force UAV research and development initiatives. Embedded motor controllers underpin critical UAV operations including drone propulsion and sensors...
 

 

Boeing receives $1.49 billion contract for 13 P-8A Poseidon ircraft

Boeing will provide the first P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for Australia and additional P-8As for the U.S. Navy following a $1.49 billion contract award from the Navy for 13 aircraft. The order includes nine aircraft for the U.S. Navy and four Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force, a long-time partner to the...
 
 

Boeing completes 777X firm configuration

Boeing announced Aug. 27 the completion of the firm configuration milestone for the 777-9, the first member of the 777X family to be developed. The Boeing 777X team reached this significant design milestone after working closely with airline customers and key suppliers to optimize the configuration of the new airplane. The 777X family includes the...
 
 

Raytheon to provide training services to U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force has named Raytheon as one of the prime contractors on the Training Systems Acquisition III contract. This allows Raytheon to bid on delivery orders on this multiple award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with a total ceiling value of $20.9 billion over 10 years. Under this Air Force Life Cycle Management Center...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>