Superior Hires Washington Lobbyists

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The Chinese company that wants to buy Hawker Beechcraft's civilian aviation business has adapted quickly to American business practices and hired a Washington lobby firm to smooth its acquisition through officialdom. Locke Lord Strategies has filed notice with the House of Representatives that it will represent Superior Air Parts Beijing on "aviation issues." Although a bankruptcy judge has granted Superior the right to exclusively negotiate with Hawker Beech for the proposed $1.79 billion acquisition, it's far from a done deal.

HBC's defense business is not part of the deal because it was unlikely that the federal government would have allowed that, but even without the specter of sharing military secrets with a foreign power the government still has to sign off on any future deal. The most significant potential roadblock is scrutiny by the U.S. Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which must approve any deal. There is also the possibility, considered remote by most analysts, that another company will outbid Superior in the auction that must be held.