Yesterday at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., Cirrus co-founder Dale Klapmeier said the company’s recent majority acquisition by China’s state-owned Avic will provide the necessary capital to restart the moribund SF50 single-engine jet program. He said the company needs time to re-ramp and re-staff the effort and that a new timetable for the jet is at least four to five months out.
China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga) of Zhuhai, China, completed its acquisition of Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Aircraft today. Sellers include private-equity firm Arcapita, which owned 60 percent of Cirrus, and minority shareholders (including former Cirrus chairman and co-founder Alan Klapmeier).
Cirrus Counter-offer Put on Hold
Convinced that he can round up enough U.S. investors to keep Cirrus Aircraft on American soil, consultant Brian Foley is organizing a counter-offer in a bid to trump China’s plan to buy the Duluth, Minn.-based light aircraft builder from majority owner Arcapita (58 percent) and the several hundred individual shareholders who currently own the company.
Cirrus Aircraft’s SF50 Vision single-engine jet program is “making good progress,” according to president and CEO Brent Wouters, who added that the company has spent $64 million so far on the program and will need to spend another $64 million to see the aircraft through certification. The order book as of early June stood at 431 aircraft, 106 of which were written in the first half of the year.
Cirrus Design filed a lawsuit against L-3 Avionics Systems aimed at stopping the spread of scuttlebutt that Cirrus is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. L-3 Avionics sued Cirrus for $21.7 million last year after a deal for cockpit systems fell apart. Cirrus’ suit against L-3 alleges that the Grand Rapids, Mich.
Cirrus Design has filed a lawsuit against L-3 Avionics Systems aimed at stopping the spread of scuttlebutt that Cirrus is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. L-3 Avionics sued Cirrus for $21.7 million last year after a deal for cockpit systems fell apart. Cirrus’ suit against L-3 alleges that the Grand Rapids, Mich.
While defining the SF50 Vision personal jet program as the company’s top priority, Cirrus president and CEO Brent Wouters yesterday told order holders that he did not know when the $1.72 million jet would enter service, based on the current funding levels.
Although Cirrus Aircraft fielded a large display at EAA AirVenture last week in Oshkosh, Wis., notably missing from the Cirrus exhibit area and Cirrus’s press conference was cofounder and board chairman Alan Klapmeier. Now the Cirrus board of directors has decided not to renew Klapmeier’s contract and to seek a new chairman when his term expires at the end of this month.