Adam Employees Hopeful, Industry Less So
There appears to be little optimism among aviation industry leaders that Adam Aircraft will be resurrected. Sources speaking on condition of anonymity have told AVweb that the prevailing opinion is that the company will fold. Adam officials are expected to reach a decision on the future by the end of this week after suspending operations on Monday. Hours after being sent home, employees gathered JD's Bait Shop Sports Grill were relatively upbeat. According to the Denver Post, rather than crying in their beers, the 20 or so Adam employees there expressed hope that someone with money will see the company they way they do. "We're all here tonight because we love this company," quality control worker Ray Romero told the Post. "We want to be there, but there's no money. We're a privately funded company. We have a beautiful product." About 500 remaining workers got the word after lunch on Monday that Adam had failed to raise the $100 million it needs to get the A700 jet certified and in production and to ramp up production of the already-certified A500 piston twin. Adam spokeswoman Shelly Simi also held out hope that funding could be found. "It's a very dynamic situation. We are looking at alternatives," she told AVwebBiz in a phone interview. A final decision on the fate of the company is expected within a week.
In a news release, Adam said it was forced to close the doors "due to the inability of the company to come to terms with their lender for funding necessary to maintain business operations." The news release doesn't identify the lender but previous rounds of financing, totaling almost $300 million, have included such major investment houses as Goldman, Sachs and Co. and Hunt Growth Capital as participants. In January, Adam announced that it needed $30.5 million in interim financing to allow its current financial partner, Citibank, the time to find the $75 million to $150 million it needed to get into production and start selling against a backlog of orders the company estimated to be worth $1 billion, according to some reports. In a letter to shareholders leaked to the media in late January, CEO John Wolf said that if the company didn't have the $30.5 million by the end of January, the company was likely doomed.
As little as a week ago, company officials were claiming that the search for funding was continuing and that production of the fifth A700 jet was under way. The jet has not achieved FAA certification but the A500 push/pull piston twin has. Adam has reportedly sold 17 of the piston aircraft and delivered seven. Meanwhile, the city of Pueblo, Colo., didn't wait for Monday's announcement to demand $2 million in incentives it says should be returned. The city says Adam promised to create 448 jobs and actually created about 90, most of which disappeared in a round of layoffs and plant consolidations in January. The city of Pueblo has placed liens against Adam's equipment in the city-owned buildings that were part of the incentive package.