Multiple Groups Vying To Buy Eclipse Assets

 - March 5, 2009, 11:09 AM

Yesterday a judge verbally approved the motion to convert Eclipse Aviation’s bankruptcy from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7, which means the company’s assets will likely be auctioned to the highest bidder. Phil Friedman, CEO of Wichita-based Harlow Aerostructures, has formed New Eclipse Acquisition to bid on the assets and, if successful, work with suppliers to provide maintenance support and avionics and other upgrades. By 2011, Friedman hopes to be able to put the Eclipse 500 back into production at a price of about $2.4 million. The Ad Hoc Committee of Eclipse Customers also plans to form a group to bid on the assets, with similar goals. The priority, according to spokesman and Eclipse owner Randall Sanada, also chairman of Westlake Village, Calif.-based Jet-Alliance, is to support existing Eclipses. Future production is also planned, although Sanada believes the price would have to be closer to $2 million to be competitive. “This economy is no time to get serious about getting back into production,” he said. Sanada’s group will consider creating either a nonprofit owner co-op or a for-profit company. Last week Eclipse charter company Linear Air formed Eclipse Services and Support as a non-profit co-op to bid on Eclipse assets.