Piper Aircraft Has New Owners

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As AVweb first reported last week, New Piper officially has a new majority shareholder ... and announced new ownership. American Capital Strategies Ltd. announced on Monday what many had already expected: It has completed the buyout and recapitalization of the struggling company. The deal included American Capital's purchase (for $34 million) of $57 million of Piper's senior debt. The company will now provide a revolving loan facility for New Piper. In addition, the investor exchanged $22 million of the purchased senior debt for common equity in the aircraft manufacturer. American Capital now owns 94 percent of Piper's voting equity. American Capital is no stranger to the folks at Piper, as it first invested in the company back in May 1998. "This is an exciting opportunity for American Capital to continue our relationship with Piper," said American Capital Senior Vice President and Managing Director Gordon O'Brien. Aside from the shareholders, who else will benefit from this transaction? Piper feels the market will enjoy new innovations. "We look forward to growing Piper and introducing new products," said Piper CEO Chuck Suma. In the new future, those new products will likely be along the lines of old products fitted with nicer avionics and softer seats.