In this market it might be assumed that American Capital, the company that owned Piper Aircraft until last Friday, was bailing on a troubled industry. In fact, the company made a healthy $31 million profit on the sale and the premium paid by Imprimis is indicative of the strength of the company. "We are extremely delighted with the impressive results of our sale of Piper. The sale of Piper during such challenging economic times demonstrates that the market is still receptive to the acquisition of strong assets," American Capital spokesman Steve Price said in a news release. "We are excited for Piper as it moves forward with new ownership under Imprimis and expands in new geographic markets, especially Asia, with its comprehensive product line."
Rumors of a sale had been around for months but the announcement on Friday still surprised many because of the timing. Piper is among the majority of airplane companies that have laid off staff and cut production in response to market conditions. Imprimis intends to sink capital into Piper and take advantage of opportunities it sees in Asia. The range of products was also a selling point. With the addition of the PiperJet, the company covers the spectrum of GA aircraft applications.