Eclipse Targets Customers for Fundraising

 - November 29, 2007, 12:19 PM

Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn told customers in a letter sent Tuesday that the company has missed its high-rate production goals and as a consequence “our need for capital has increased.” Eclipse is asking existing customers to help raise about $30 million in short-term funding by each putting up a $625,000 deposit in exchange for a fixed aircraft price of $1.25 million. Alternatively, new customers backing an order today with a 60-percent deposit ($840,000) can lock in their purchase price at $1.4 million. The offer ends December 14 and the funds will be placed in an escrow account until the balance reaches $30 million. If the revenue falls short of that figure, Eclipse says it will rescind the offer and return the $625,000/$840,000 deposits to customers. Teal Group aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia told AIN that asking for money from customers looks “desperate,” but an Eclipse spokesman said the idea came from customers as a way to raise funding without diluting the company’s value. Eclipse said it will need additional funding beyond the $30 million from customers, but the spokesman added that the company is able to meet payroll and supplier payments in the meantime.