Ever want to own an aircraft company? Revo Inc. just might be your opportunity now that they’ve placed the assets of Kissimmee Florida-based Lake Aircraft up for sale. Lake Aircraft has been building single-engine amphibious aircraft in the U.S. since the late 1950s, with more than 1,300 aircraft flying in over 50 countries.
Never much for traditional advertising, Armand Rivard, Revo Inc. president, told Flying most of his Lake aircraft sales over the past four decades came from word-of-mouth referrals. Now 84 and looking for a retirement exit plan, Rivard said, “We have plenty of calls, mostly about the six-place Renegade, but currently no way to build them.” The recently announced asset sale includes all intellectual property and equipment needed to manufacture the Lake Renegade, Seafury and Seawolf airplanes.
After more than 40 years of ownership, Rivard says, “The sale of Lake Aircraft is a rare opportunity to quickly set up manufacturing operations and continue production of a successful line of amphibious airplanes. The Lake’s FAA Type Certificate simplifies the start-up,” with the manufacturing process used as a stepping stone to expand into bigger and more complex aircraft.
He said he’s also hoping to sell the company’s assets to a domestic buyer after taking a moment to explain a number of difficult situations he’s already experienced with earlier investors. Lake had an agreement with an undisclosed Chinese financial backer in 2015 to initially invest and restart the Lake line at a new facility in Colorado. Rivard said it took “eight to nine months to work out the details.” All was apparently going well until the current backers ran into issues with Beijing that made it all but impossible for them to take their money out of China and the deal collapsed. He recalled another earlier disappointment with a different Chinese backer that became untenable when, “The AVIC people reverse engineered one of our airplanes.”
Curious buyers might wonder why data published by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, does not show a single Lake airplane delivered since the association began publishing records online in 2000. Quite the independent businessman, Rivard said he never got started self-reporting delivery numbers to GAMA because, “I just never became that involved with them.”
A purchase of the current Lake assets (www.lake250.com) includes the FAA Type Certificate (#1A13), global manufacturing and marketing rights, component and assembly tooling, dies, jigs and engineering drawings for all Lake amphibian aircraft. A team of Lake experts will also be available to assist in the transition and continued production.