But now Boisture says he plans to “talk a lot less” about new aircraft. Instead, he wants the company to assume a “Skunk Works mentality.”
Beechcraft will be concentrating on standing up the new company, maintaining the existing product line and fleet, and establishing credibility in the marketplace.
This includes repairing its supplier network, which Boisture concedes has suffered as part of the divestiture drama. The supply chain, he says, “is not fully functioning as [we] want it to, but functioning adequately to maintain production levels.”
The jet lines closed down last year, and the company has since sold its remaining inventory of new jets. Beechcraft hoped to find suitors for those lines, but put that search on the backburner in recent months to focus on finishing the bankruptcy process, Boisture says.
Although it is smaller, he notes, “Beechcraft has emerged from this process a stronger company with both financial and operational strength and stability.”
The company closed on $600 million in exit financing, including a $425 million term loan facility and a $175 million revolving facility. The term loan helped repay a debtor-in-possession credit facility, along with certain settlements that were part of the reorganization plan. J.P. Morgan Securities and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) were the lead arrangers of the financing.
As for the jets, Boisture says, “There has been considerable interest” and options are being weighed. A few scenarios could result—from a support organization buying the lines to maintain the existing fleet, to a manufacturing operation purchasing them to bring them back into production.
While the company dropped certain warranty and guaranteed support programs for the Hawker 4000 and Premier jets, it still will provide engineering support and maintenance for those aircraft and it has a stock of parts.
The company has closed its service centers in Mesa, Ariz., Little Rock, Ark., and San Antonio, but has retained nine facilities in the U.S. and one in the U.K. Also, its Global Customer Support unit is continuing to work on programs that include the Hawker 400XPR and 800XPR upgrades.
Regarding its existing product lines, Boisture concedes that the bankruptcy process—which included a possible takeover by Chinese interests—unnerved some potential customers. But he says confidence has improved as the company came closer to exiting the bankruptcy process.