Pieper Confident about Eclipse Production Prospects
Starting next year, Eclipse Aviation plans to ramp up production of the Eclipse 500 back to a rate of about one airplane per day, chairman and CEO Roel Pieper told AIN. Eclipse has enough cash on hand to move forward with the new production plans, according to Pieper, thanks in part to a recent financial infusion from the company’s agreement to build a factory in Russia. But Eclipse is also seeking a final round of equity financing with the assistance of financial firm UBS. This round should close in the next few weeks, Pieper said. It will be the last round for Eclipse and is expected to take the company to its planned IPO. Pieper also has another problem on his hands: a group of position holders is considering trying to persuade a judge to force Eclipse Aviation into involuntary bankruptcy, based on the group’s claim that Eclipse defrauded its customers by taking progress payments that were supposed to be followed by delivery within six months. “I would be very surprised if a bankruptcy judge would even go there with all the jobs at stake and all the other obligations at stake,” Pieper said.