Hawker Beechcraft gets court nod to negotiate with Chinese company

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has approved Hawker Beechcraft’s motion to enter into exclusive negotiations with Superior Aviation Beijing Co., Ltd. Approval give Hawker Beechcraft up to 45 days to exclusively negotiate with the Chinese company to buy its general aviation line for $1.79 billion. The Wichita-based company’s defense line is not included in the deal.

As part of the agreement, Superior will make payments over the next month to sustain Hawker Beechcraft’s jet business. An initial deposit of $25 million is payable before the end of the week and a second $25 million deposit is payable within 30 days, company officials said.

Any definitive agreement reached with Superior would be subject to approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and other regulatory agencies. In addition, any agreement will be subject to termination if another potential purchaser succeeds in the mandatory competitive auction process that will be overseen by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“The agreement we have reached with Superior provides us with funding to preserve jobs as we simultaneously negotiate a potential transaction with Superior and continue to prepare for our standalone plan described in our preliminary plan of reorganization and disclosure statement,” said Robert S. “Steve” Miller, CEO of Hawker Beechcraft. “At this time, pursuing the potential transaction with Superior is in the best interests of the company and its various stakeholders, including our creditors, our employees, our suppliers and our customers. We look forward to working toward a definitive agreement with Superior and continuing to communicate with all interested parties to explain the benefits of this proposed transaction.”

During the exclusivity period, Superior will perform due diligence while the two companies negotiate definitive documentation of the transaction. If negotiations with Superior are not concluded in a timely manner, Hawker Beechcraft will proceed with seeking confirmation of the Joint Plan of Reorganization it filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on June 30, which contemplates Hawker Beechcraft emerging as a standalone entity with a more focused portfolio of aircraft. More specifically, under the Standalone Plan, the company would wind down the company’s jet-related businesses, a process that likely would have commenced already but for Superior’s proposal to the company, company officials said.

For more information: HawkerBeechcraft.com




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