Textron Considers Hawker Assets

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Cessna's parent company, Textron Inc., reported increased earnings in Q2 2012, and reportedly might consider making a bid on assets held by bankrupt Hawker Beechcraft Inc., if the price is right. Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Textron's CEO, Scott Donnelly, said during an earnings conference call that Hawker holds "assets in which we have an interest." He added, "but it would have to be at a value that we think is appropriate." Textron, through Donnelly, expressed interest in Hawker's defense business. But considering Cessna's recent deals with China, a broader acquisition of Hawker's assets could have other strategic implications. In any case, Textron's interest will have to wait.

China's Superior Aviation Beijing is in exclusive talks with Hawker for a 45-day period. A deal with Superior could give Hawker a footing in China, where Cessna has already developed relationships. Cessna singed an agreement with the Chinese aviation firm AVIC earlier this year. The deal would see them open a business jet factory in China. When Hawker announced its intent to craft a deal with Superior Aviation earlier this month, it announced the plan would avoid a complete shutdown of Hawker's operations. The plan would also give the manufacturer a foundation in China. And it is possible that foundation could lead Hawker to a more competitive position in the Asian market -- and with Cessna's presence there.