Eclipse Furloughs Most Employees

 - February 26, 2009, 10:10 AM

On February 18, Eclipse Aviation’s board of directors elected to furlough most of the remaining 800 employees to conserve cash and allow more time to complete the bankruptcy court-approved sale of Eclipse Aviation to EclipseJet International. The latter is an affiliate of Eclipse Aviation CEO Roel Pieper’s company Etirc Aviation, which is Eclipse’s largest shareholder. The bankruptcy judge approved the Chapter 11 sale
on January 20, but the financing to complete the deal had yet to be finalized at press time. The sale amount is $28 million, in addition to $160 million in promissory notes and 15-percent equity to Eclipse’s senior secured note holders. Mike McConnell, president and general manager of Eclipse’s customer division, blamed the delayed financing on the “worldwide turmoil and uncertainty.” During the furlough, work on the Eclipse 500 assembly line has been halted, as has maintenance on customer airplanes at the two factory service centers.