Cessna For Sale?

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The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting that Textron CEO Lewis Campbell told an investment conference on Tuesday that the corporation may have to sell either Cessna or Bell Helicopter to cover losses by its financial arm. Campbell told a Barclays Capital conference in Miami Beach that the company needs to raise $1 billion in the first of this year and that means one of the aviation units could be put on the block. Which will go will likely depend on which has the most perceived value. Both companies are cutting back in the face of decreased demand.

Cessna has announced layoffs totaling 4,600 in the last couple of months because of sharp declines in new orders and big increases in the number of order deferrals in its backlog. But Bell is also having problems. Last week it lost a $6 billion military order, although it still has a backlog of military orders. Business has slowed on the civilian side, however, and it recently announced layoffs and production cuts at its Mirabel, Quebec plant.