Grob SPn Light Jet Program Draws Bidders

 - February 3, 2009, 10:32 AM

A new proposal for restarting the former Grob Aerospace SPn light business jet program appears to be taking shape less than a week after H3 Aerospace and Fortius Mittelsstand Kapital acquired the insolvent company’s trainer aircraft business. According to sources close to the negotiations, prospective investors–including at least one of the company’s creditors and one or more SPn customers–are preparing a takeover plan that involves restructuring the program’s supply chain and restarting marketing activities. Unlike another creditor-backed plan disclosed on January 28 by German bankruptcy administrator Dr. Michael Jaffé, this plan might result in the SPn program’s being moved across the border from the Grob factory at Tussenhausen-Mattsies in southern Germany and into Switzerland, where the also-insolvent Grob Aerospace AG holding group is headquartered. Industry sources have told AIN that Grob Aerospace AG CEO Niall Olver is willing to lead a plan to restart the program. However, neither Olver nor the company is making any official comment. The SPn attracted more than 100 orders and was barely four months away from completing certification when Grob Aerospace GmbH was forced to declare provisional insolvency in August. Only one customer ever asked to cancel an order, and late last year Grob Aerospace indicated that approximately €100 million ($128 million) would be required to get the aircraft approved and into full production.