By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
Any buyers interested in the assets of Eclipse Aviation must put in a bid with the federal bankruptcy court by the end of this week, or the sale will go to the current high bidder, Eclipse Aerospace, which has made an offer of $40 million, the Associated Press reported this week. If other qualified bidders appear, an auction will be held as early as next week. If no one else bids, Eclipse Aerospace would close the deal by the end of this month. The owners of Eclipse Aerospace, Mike Press and Mason Holland, have said they would keep the company in Albuquerque, provide service and upgrades for the current fleet, and eventually restart production. Both are owners of Eclipse jets. The Eclipse Owners Group, which at one time was also seeking control of the company assets, has abandoned its effort and now supports Eclipse Aerospace.
No other likely U.S. bidders have emerged, and according to AOPA, any bidder with a foreign component must pass a federal security review. Buyers in China, Russia, and Europe have shown interest in the company, AOPA says, but time is running out for them to field a successful bid.