All Raytheon Aircraft Bidders Have Deep Pockets

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One of the bidders, Onex Corp., is no stranger to Wichita. The Canadian company bought Boeing’s Wichita commercial operations last year and formed Spirit AeroSytems Holding. The new company is doing well building Boeing 737 fuselages and parts for the 787 Dreamliner, and analysts say the Raytheon acquisition would be a good fit. As a foreign-owned company, Onex would have to clear some security hurdles, however, because of Raytheon Aircraft’s military connections (mainly the Texan II trainer). Onex is also involved in a controversial bid to buy Qantas Airlines. The Carlyle Group and Cerberus are also considered strong contenders for Raytheon Aircraft. The Carlyle Group has numerous aviation connections in its portfolio, including Aerostructures Corp., Vought Aircraft Industries, Landmark Aviation and 64 percent of Firth Rixson, a metal parts provider. Cerebrus manages more than $18 billion for its clients and is involved in dozens of companies, although its aviation experience appears limited. Raytheon has said it wants $3 billion for the aviation business, which employs 6,300 in Wichita. The investment companies have declined media comment on their bids, and AVweb was unable to reach a Raytheon spokesman for comment on the holiday weekend.