Beech, Hawker On The Block?
The rumors about Beechcraft and Hawker being up for sale just might be true. Raytheon's new CEO William Swanson told Bloomberg News last week he'd consider selling the aircraft division after fixing what ails it. "As soon as the market wakes up and people realize there is a rationalization that needs to take place, we'll be in the right position to be able to do that," Swanson said. The aircraft division is being extensively revamped, much to the disappointment of some workers who are seeing in-house jobs being sent to contractors. Raytheon has said that it wants to do only final assembly at its factories, mostly in Wichita. Swanson's comments might indicate the company is paring operations to make the aircraft division more attractive to potential buyers. It lost $4 million last year compared to $760 million in 2001. "You don't want to make a decision like that when you have to put your business in the right shape," he said. One thing is certain, the new CEO doesn't appear to have much attachment to the airplane business. He told Bloomberg it's not one of Raytheon's "core" businesses. Raytheon makes most of its money in electronics, particularly air traffic control and military equipment. Cessna has been rumored to be among the potential buyers and even Mooney Aerospace Group has expressed an interest.