The emergence from bankruptcy of Hawker Beechcraft last week not only marked the beginning of the new Beechcraft Corp., but also signaled the end of the Hawker business jet line. Choosing to focus instead on its turboprop products, government contracts and aircraft service, the Wichita-based manufacturer has shut down all jet production and sold its remaining inventory of new and in-production Hawker 4000s and Premier IAs.
Pre-owned Hawker 700/800/900s are currently “significantly undervalued,” Brian Proctor of business jet broker and consultancy Mente Group said today at the NBAA Aircraft Finance, Registration and Legal conference in Bonita Springs, Fla. He contends that prices of these aircraft could potentially double (from current values, depending on the specific model) soon after Hawker Beechcraft exits bankruptcy later this month.
The downsized Beechcraft that is expected to emerge from bankruptcy protection at the end of this month will retain and expand its services division, two senior Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) executives told AIN. There are no plans at this time to spin off Hawker Beechcraft Services into a separately owned company.
At an omnibus hearing on December 11, the progress of Hawker Beechcraft toward emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection moved ahead with court authorization to enter into the debtor-in-possession (DIP) amendment and to pay certain related fees and expenses.
JP Morgan is stirring the Hawker Beechcraft bankruptcy pot, suggesting in its December Aerospace and Defense: Balance of Power report that “acquisition of the company is still possible.” The financial services company named Embraer, Textron (parent of Cessna and Bell Helicopter) and General Dynamics (Gulfstream and Jet Aviation) as entities that might benefit from such a deal.
The analyst added, “We anticipate that other companies may be interested in acquiring Beechcraft if the price is right as we see a good strategic fit in several cases.”
Dying is one thing. Being reborn is quite another, as Hawker Beechcraft, its employees, lenders and creditors are discovering during the current bankruptcy and restructuring.
At the NBAA Convention last month, HBC chairman Bill Boisture explained recent events to that point and outlined the Wichita OEM’s future, which he confirmed will not include its business jet line.
With the new Beechcraft Corp. exiting the jet business when Hawker Beechcraft emerges from bankruptcy as a standalone company in the spring, the company sought to clarify its position with regard to warranties today at the NBAA Convention.
Hawker Beechcraft is moving ahead with restructuring during Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and in a press conference here yesterday HBC chairman Bill Boisture made it clear the new Beechcraft Corp. that emerges in the first quarter of next year will focus on the turboprop and piston aircraft lines.
In a reorganization plan filed in June with the bankruptcy court, Hawker Beechcraft listed a number of options and assumptions available during the process, among them that the company might cease all jet production–something the company reiterated it planned to do last week when announcing it would emerge from bankruptcy as standalone company Beechcraft Corp.
After four months of intense negotiation, a deal for the sale of Hawker Beechcraft to Superior Aviation Beijing collapsed October 18 with an announcement by HBC that the parties could not come to terms and it would proceed with the stand-alone plan of reorganization.