Eclipse Assets May Be Sold For $5.25 Million

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A British businessman has entered into an agreement with OneAviation to pick up the assets of Eclipse Aerospace for $5.25 million. The deal was presented to a bankruptcy court on Oct. 20 and the intent seems to be to revive the company. “Whilst it is not yet clear what the future prospects for the Eclipse project might be, if our agreement is approved by the bankruptcy court, we look forward to working actively with all relevant parties to find a viable way forward,” Christopher Harborne, who is hoping to buy the company, said in statement. Although Harborne is from the U.K., the bid was made through AML Global Eclipse LLC, a U.S. company he formed for the deal. A judge will decide whether to accept the bid in November. It will be opposed by Citiking International U.S., which had been attempting to buy the assets of OneAviation.

Eclipse Aerospace was the company that emerged from the bankruptcy of the original Eclipse Aviation. That company intended to revolutionize private aviation with the Eclipse 500 very light jet in the early 2000s. It raised more than a billion dollars in investor capital and its assets were sold from bankruptcy for $40 million in 2010. The second iteration of the company merged with Kestrel Aircraft in 2015 to form OneAviation. That company produced an updated version of the Eclipse, the 550, for three years. It was also planning to build a larger model, the 700, but ceased operations before that was accomplished. OneAviation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018. The Kestrel side of the company has not certified the high-performance turboprop it was developing and is apparently not included in the bid by AML Global Eclipse. 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. The Micro-Jet concept was not ill-conceived, but the limited market for these little hot rods would not absorb many competitors. Gulfstream’s incredible ‘G’ Series would draw most buyers from the Business sector, and Cessna had a potent entry with their Mustang for the slightly less fortunate businesses/owners. Even Cirrus and Honda joined the fray. Chalk this one up to a nice try.

  2. I visited the ABQ factory shortly after they had ditched the under-performing Williams engine for the small P&W Canada one. My takeaway was that building a fairly sophisticated airplane (and taking it to certification) is an incredibly challenging and expensive proposition. Memories of the Lear Fan…

  3. An analogy in the amateur-built universe may be a kit, something challenging like, oh, a Prescott Pusher or an Orion, that passes through a number of owners without any real progress happening. Each successive owner looks at the original price and what subsequent buyers paid and convinces him- or herself the current asking price is a super deal. Maybe it will get finished someday.

  4. With 300 Eclipse VLJ’s flying, a $5.25 million investment to support those airplanes might work. 300 existing airplanes and aircraft owners could be considered highly motivated for reliable parts, regular service, and not have an orphaned airplane. Building new airplanes would probably inevitably happen if there is ROI in parts and service. Now there are two players for Eclipse VLJ assets, Citiking Int and now AML Global Eclipse.

    However, the parallels to Mooney who can’t seem to be profitable supporting 7,000 airplanes, yet somehow like a “phoenix” rising from ashes again and again finding new owners in spite of previous company failures cannot be dismissed by this armchair quarterback. But I can pontificate and postulate easily on this BK buyout because it’s not my $5.25 million. Evidently, this new buyer thinks he can make a go of it. Hope springs eternal.

    • Sticker Shock is one factor that would keep potential buyers from committing to a purchase. The airlines are an attractive alternative for our travel dollars when you eye six figures those light aircraft sales receipts.