Raytheon's Beech/Hawker Sale Gets EU Clearance

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The Raytheon Company's proposed spinoff of its aircraft-manufacturing business got a green light last week from Europe's regulatory authorities. The European Commission automatically cleared the proposed sale to a new company formed by Goldman Sachs and Onex Partners after no antitrust problems were identified and no complaints from rivals were received. The EC allowed 25 working days for interested parties to oppose the sale. Raytheon announced the $3.3-billion deal Dec. 21, 2006, saying it will sell its Hawker and Beechcraft lines. As AVweb reported, the sale does not include Raytheon's fractional operation, Flight Options, or Raytheon Airline Aviation Services (RAAS), but does include the Raytheon Aircraft Services FBO network. More than 8,500 employees and about 100 facilities worldwide are involved.

Onex, a diversified company with annual revenues of some $20 billion, is also a partner in the recent takeover of Australia's Qantas Airways. The company bought Boeing's Wichita/Tulsa division in 2005; locally, Wichita residents mostly praise the firm for turning around the division, now known as Spirit Aerosystems Holdings Inc. The firm, headed by Gerry Schwartz, also manages a real estate and a public market investment fund.