The company that produces Cessna aircraft completed its purchase of Beechcraft Corporation Friday, consolidating three of the largest general aviation companies in the country under one roof.
Providence, RI-based Textron Inc. announced Friday the completion of the $1.4 billion sale it initiated in December 2013.
Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker will each remain distinct brands to preserve their rich histories and respective strengths in the marketplace.
“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 in a press release. “Uniting these brands creates a robust industry competitor, operating as one team with a common goal to serve customers everywhere our aircraft fly. 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.”
Patrick Tuttle, Wichita Aero Club chairman, said the deal will likely mean some job loss.
"We have to make the decisions and they're tough ones," Tuttle said. "To keep the entire industry here as viable as possible and competitive in a global market place."
The CEO of Textron Inc. says his aviation company's $1.4 billion purchase of Beechcraft Corp. will require "restructuring and optimization of costs."
But whether that means job cuts at Beechcraft's home base in Kansas, or elsewhere, hasn't been decided.
Textron is Cessna Aircraft's parent company. It announced Thursday that it was purchasing Wichita, Kan.-based Beechcraft Corp. in a merger of big players in aviation.
Textron CEO Scott C. Donnelly acknowledged Friday that Beechcraft employees have been through a lot over the past few years and that the company's bankruptcy created uncertainty for customers. But he says the merger provides great new brands to Textron's portfolio.
The move caps a turbulent year for Beechcraft, which emerged from bankruptcy in February. Textron's purchase is expected to close around the middle of 2014.
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Beechcraft officially has a new owner.
Textron Inc. has announced that it has reached agreement to purchase all outstanding equity interests in Beech Holdings, LLC, the parent of Beechcraft Corporation, for approximately $1.4 billion in cash.
Textron is based in Providence, R.I. It is best known for brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems.
“This transaction represents an important step forward in the evolution of Beechcraft’s business," Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture said in a news release. "The team at Beechcraft has worked tirelessly to strengthen our core business and to maintain our position as a leader in a highly competitive environment. Textron’s experience in the industry and its willingness to invest in and maintain the iconic Beechcraft brand make it an ideal parent company, one that will help us continue to satisfy our customers and meet our business objectives at a faster pace.”
In 2013, Beechcraft Corporation had estimated revenues of $1.8 billion. With more than 36,000 aircraft in service, Beechcraft supports its installed base of Hawker business jets, King Air turboprops and Beechcraft airplanes with an extensive global network of company-owned and authorized service centers.
“The acquisition of Beechcraft is a tremendous opportunity to extend our general aviation business,” Textron Chairman and CEO Scott C. Donnelly said in the release. “From our customers’ perspective, this creates a broader selection of aircraft and a larger service footprint— all sharing the same high standards of quality and innovation. 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.”
KWCH will follow this story as it develops.