A Delaware bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of the assets of Eclipse Aviation to EclipseJet Aviation International, a subsidiary of ETIRC Aviation, which is owned by current Eclipse CEO Roel Pieper and is the largest single investor in Eclipse. Judge Mary Walrath, of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, made her decision Tuesday after hearing two days of testimony, much of it in opposition to the sale. Pieper's offer is $28 million in cash, plus $160 million in shares and 15-percent equity in the company for secured shareholders. When it filed for Chapter 11 protection on Nov. 25, it was estimated that Eclipse owed more than $1 billion. Now that the ownership question has been settled, perhaps an even larger question looms, particularly for the people and politicians of Albuquerque.
Although Eclipse has said that it intends keep its facilities in Albuquerque, built and serviced with considerable public incentive money, fears remain that the company will abandon New Mexico in favor of Russia and a plant that has already been approved there. The reorganization of the company effectively frees Eclipse from any obligations made under those incentives. EclipseJet has not yet commented on the court decision.