Textron, the parent company of Cessna and Bell Helicopter, has confirmed it willpurchase Beechcraft Corp. for approximately $1.4 billion in cash, in a press release issued late on Thursday. “The acquisition of Beechcraft is a tremendous opportunity to extend our general aviation business,” said Textron CEO Scott Donnelly. “From our customers’ perspective, this creates a broader selection of aircraft and a larger service footprint. … The iconic King Air product line perfectly complements our Caravan and Citation jet line-up and our combined global service network will deliver the superior level of services expected by our Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker customers.” The acquisition is good news for Hawker Beechcraft 4000 and Premier 1A owners whose aircraft had been orphaned by Hawker Beechcraft’s emergence from bankruptcy earlier this year.
In its own news release, Beechcraft said the deal includes type certificates for the jets, which the emergent company abandoned. “Maintenance services for the aircraft will continue through Beechcrafts factory-owned service center network, Hawker Beechcraft Services, and Authorized Service Centers around the world with Hawker 4000 and Premier ratings,” Beechcraft said in its news release. “Beechcraft will continue to provide uninterrupted service and support for all Hawker 4000 and Premier aircraft.” Until a couple of weeks ago, Beechcraft was intent on selling the jet business to a composite structures business but sources told AVweb that negotiations for that deal were abruptly called off in mid-December, about the same time that rumors of the Textron deal began circulating. More details on the deal are expected Friday.
Textron will release more details about theacquisition on Friday. The purchase had been reportedabout a week ago but Textron officials would not confirm it until the Thursday announcement.