Textron Inc. today announced it has closed its acquisition of Beech Holdings, LLC, the parent of Beechcraft Corporation, and that it will bring together its Cessna business and Beechcraft to form a new segment called Textron Aviation — although each will remain distinct brands. Cessna and Beechcraft together produced about $4.6 billion in revenues during 2013. According to The Wall Street Journal: The acquisition brings together three brands, each pioneering many of aviation’s most notable advances in the past century. Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker bring 200-plus years of combined aviation experience to the market and an installed customer base of more than 250,000 airplanes worldwide. Going forward, Textron Aviation intends to share and leverage best practices across all operations to further its position as an aviation authority. Scott Ernest, who has served as Cessna’s President and CEO since 2011, will lead the Textron Aviation segment as CEO.
“Today’s announcement is a historic milestone for the aviation industry, and I congratulate the management teams of Beechcraft and Cessna for quickly bringing the merger to fruition,” said Textron Chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. “Through Textron Aviation, we now offer a broader selection of aircraft for our customers and a greatly expanded service footprint. Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker owners will receive the high level of quality product and customer service that are the hallmarks of these brands — and our combined resources will enhance our ability to innovate and anticipate customer needs.” Under the terms of the transaction, Textron purchased all outstanding equity interests in Beech Holdings for approximately $1.4 billion in cash. Textron financed the purchase of the equity as well as the repayment of Beechcraft’s working capital debt through a combination of available cash, the issuance of $600 million in senior notes and drawing $500 million under a new five-year term loan.