Raytheon Sheds Stake in Great Lakes

 - January 7, 2012, 12:15 AM

Raytheon Aircraft no longer owns part of Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation, following the airline’s November 16 repurchase of all common stock owned by the one-time Beech 1900 manufacturer. According to Great Lakes’ third-quarter 10Q filing with the SEC, the airline entered into new financing agreements with GB Merchant Partners and Crystal Capital, allowing it to settle its obligations with Raytheon Aircraft. Terms of the financing include a four-year term loan of $24 million and a revolving loan credit facility under which the company may borrow $10 million.

Raytheon held an ownership interest in Great Lakes since 2008, when it essentially saved the airline from certain bankruptcy. The deal, which contained a proviso for a strengthened management team, led to the recruitment of current CEO Chuck Howell.

Great Lakes entered into agreements with Raytheon in 2008 and 2009 to lease seven Beech 1900Ds, the last of which it returned to its owner last month.

It now operates six Embraer Brasilias and 25 Beech 1900Ds from hubs at Albuquerque, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Phoenix. From Feb. 1, 2010, through last June 30, it ended service at 18 Essential Air Service communities, two non-EAS communities and four EAS hubs. As of November 17, it served 42 communities, 29 of which receive EAS subsidies.