MEBAA Convention News

Emivest teeters on the edge of bankruptcy

 - December 5, 2010, 10:01 PM

Emivest Aerospace, manufacturer of the SJ30 light jet, is less than two months away from liquidation under the terms of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that it filed for in a U.S. court on October 20. The company has until January 14 to find a buyer to avoid winding up under Chapter 7 rules. Any prospective buyer would have until February 4 to complete the deal.

The former Sino-Swearingen company has a strong Dubai connection, with an 80-percent stake in it having been acquired by Emirates Investment & Development in June 2008. The Dubai group renamed the San Antonio, Texas-based firm and pledged to provide at least $150 million in fresh investment (and potentially up to $1 billion).

Chapter 11 court documents indicate that Emivest has indentified several prospective buyers for its assets. Management applied for $4 million in debtor-in-possession funds to keep the business operating during the proceedings. The remaining 20 percent in Emivest's stock is controlled by investors from Taiwan, company founder Ed Swearingen and another of the original investors, Doug Jaffe.

After 16 years of development and estimated expenditures of $700 million, the SJ30 was certified in 2005. At the time the company said it had more than 200 orders for the aircraft.