A new legal dispute has emerged in the Eclipse Aviation saga, this time involving investor Alfred Mann; Etirc Aviation, subsidiary of recently insolvent investment firm Etirc; and its chairman, Roel Pieper.
Anyone attempting to view information on the Web site of European Technology and Investment Research Center (Etirc) will find what looks like a television test pattern occupying what was formerly a description of a thriving investment business.
Although a number of proposals have been floated to buy the assets of bankrupt very light jet manufacturer Eclipse Aviation, none has attracted enough support or interest from the bankruptcy court to receive final approval.
The current status of the 259 Eclipse 500 very light jets that were delivered before the manufacturer went bankrupt in February remains tenuous.
Roel Pieper’s European Technology and Investment Research Center (Etirc) has filed for bankruptcy, ending Etirc Aviation’s once-lofty plans to distribute Eclipse 500s in Europe and Russia and build an Eclipse assembly plant in Russia. Etirc announced plans to become an Eclipse distributor and help companies operate air-taxi networks two years ago.
Last month, the Alfred E. Mann Living Trust filed a complaint against Etirc Aviation and Etirc chairman and CEO Roel Pieper, seeking more than $10 million plus interest and expenses. According to the complaint, Etirc and the Mann Living Trust agreed last November “to each provide $10 million in funding to…Eclipse Aviation” following Eclipse’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
A group of Eclipse 500 owners and Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) today announced the signing of a non-binding letter of intent under which HBC’s service network would provide maintenance and upgrades for Eclipse Owners Group (EOG) members. The two parties are now negotiating a “definitive binding agreement,” according to an EOG statement.
As the liquidation process for the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation drags on, four groups have announced proposals to buy those assets and restart product support and, in some cases, production for the orphaned Eclipse 500 very light jet. No date has been set for the asset auction by the Delaware bankruptcy court.
A group of experienced former Eclipse Aviation workers appears to have launched a company called Eclipse 500 Services to provide maintenance for Eclipse 500 very light jets. The company’s contact information lists an Albuquerque, N.M. telephone number but provides no information as to the identity of the principals.
As the liquidation process for the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation drags on, four groups have announced proposals to buy those assets and restart product support and in some cases production for the orphaned Eclipse 500 very light jet. There may be Chinese interest in bidding on the Eclipse assets, too.