Hearing Today To Decide on China Bid for Epic Air Assets

 - March 30, 2010, 11:48 AM

An evidentiary hearing was scheduled today to determine the winner of an auction held last Friday for the assets of bankrupt Epic Air and its sister companies. Bidders were China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGAC), Harlow Aerostructures and LT Builders Group. CAIGAC’s all-cash bid of $4.3 million was highest, followed by Harlow’s bid of $4 million. Rich Lucibella, chairman of the Epic creditors committee and a builder of one of the 12 unfinished Epic LT single-engine turboprop kit aircraft stuck in Epic’s Bend, Ore. facility, said that he doesn’t know whether export rules would affect CAIGAC if it chose to keep Epic in the U.S. “ It seems that they never bid on exporting [Epic] to China,” he said. “They bid on buying the technology. It’s pretty obvious they wouldn’t want to build experimental aircraft for the U.S. market but want the technology to build aircraft for general aviation. They’ve got all these molds, equipment, a brand name and a design. My sense isn’t that they want to dump that into the shredder.” Harlow filed an objection, claiming that its bid faces no regulatory impediments and that it would be in the best interest of Epic’s creditors. Yesterday, in a letter to Douglas King, manager of the LT Builders Group, CAIGAC president Xiangkai Meng expressed interest in helping owners of the partially built Epic LTs finish thier aircraft and possibly assist in development of future aircraft.