Cirrus Won't Bid On Columbia Assets

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With the bankrupt Columbia aircraft company due to go up for sale on November 27, Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier told AVweb on Tuesday that his company won't be making a bid after all. "We have done our due diligence, and we think there are a lot of problems that would have to be solved," he said. "They wouldn't be in bankruptcy, if that wasn't true." A buyer would have to take on those problems, plus all the warranty costs for the current fleet, he said. Taking on the Columbia product line would divert a lot of financial and engineering resources that could be better invested in developing The Jet, Klapmeier said. With Cirrus out of the running, that leaves Cessna as the most likely buyer, although other companies remain in play. But if Cessna does acquire the Columbia line, Klapmeier says he can live with that. "We are quite comfortable with our product offerings, and quite willing to compete," he said. He added that he sees plenty of growth potential in the GA market and expects there will be more than enough buyers to keep everyone busy. Other companies that have expressed an interest in acquiring Columbia are Versa Capital Management and Park Electrochemical Corp.