December 20, 2013
In a move that would mark a major consolidation within the U.S. general aviation manufacturing industry, Cessna Aircraft parent Textron is reportedly buying Beechcraft for nearly $1.4 billion.
The Financial Times on Dec. 20 reported the sale had been completed. Neither Textron nor Beechcraft would confirm the deal on Dec. 20, each reiterating, “We do not comment on market rumors or speculation about the company.”
Speculation about the potential sale has circulated in recent months, and Analyst JPMorgan notes that Textron has confirmed its interest on “multiple occasions” and says “we continue to believe that Beechcraft would be a good fit with Textron’s Cessna operations.” Beechcraft could add $150 million in operating income with possible expansion if revenue grows. The analyst also believes a merger could yield between $100 million-$150 million in cost “synergies.”
Shortly after speculation of a Beechcraft sale emerged, Textron Chairman Scott Donnelly reiterated that parts of Beechcraft remained of interest. But he refused comment on a possibility of talks, calling those reports “rumors.”
Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture last summer noted to Aviation Week that three of the company’s major shareholders are those that specialize in distressed properties. In those cases, he said, the question comes up as to whether they’re long-term owners. “I wouldn’t think so,” he said.
Beechcraft emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year under a reorganization plan that gave the company’s major debt holders control of the company.