MEBAA Convention News

Ailing Grob skips MEBA, hopes for best

 - November 13, 2008, 11:53 PM

Grob Aerospace has withdrawn from the MEBA show after its German manufacturing division formally declared insolvency on November 1. Swiss parent company Grob AG, itself, is on the verge of also being declared insolvent.

The group has been desperately seeking fresh investors since mid-August after the sudden withdrawal of its main financial backer. This move was prompted by further delays in completing certification of the new Grob SPn light jet, and associated rising costs for the program.

Nonetheless, Grob’s management is continuing in negotiations with prospective new investors and says it is still confident of restarting the company to focus on its SPn and training aircraft programs. Most staff at Grob Aerospace GmbH’s factory at Mattsies in southern Germany were laid off on November 3. To ensure that salary payments for August through October were made to these employees, Grob had no alternative but to file for full insolvency. A core team remains in Mattsies to keep the operation active on a minimal scale.

Under both German and Swiss bankruptcy laws, Grob essentially ran out of time to find new investors while remaining temporarily protected from full insolvency terms.
However, in a November 3 statement Grob CEO Niall Olver said he hoped to rehire most of the company’s staff under a new legal entity. Negotiations are being held with prospective investors, including groups from both the financial and aviation industries.