...As New Investors Sought
Walker said Commander will try to line up new investors, according to the Oklahoman. Commander filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2002. Walker told AVweb in January 2003 that the company owed about $3.7 million to investors, but operations were "pretty neat and tidy ... [the company] is not overburdened by debt, we just got caught in a cash crunch." He said two years of a weak economy had taken a toll. Tiger and Aviation General struck a deal in February of this year, in which Tiger was to pay about $2.8 million in exchange for 80-percent ownership of Aviation General, which has been the parent company of Commander since 1998. Under the Tiger acquisition plan, about $2 million was to go to creditors, and the rest would finance a return to aircraft production. The plan had been approved by shareholders and by the bankruptcy court. Tiger is owned by three Taiwanese investors and a subsidiary of Teleflex. Commander Aircraft Company was incorporated in 1988, and acquired the Commander single-engine product line from Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, which had taken over Rockwell's General Aviation Division in 1981.