Auction Canceled; ETIRC Unit Wins Eclipse Sweepstakes

When no qualified bidders emerged last week, the scheduled auction for the assets of Eclipse Aviation was canceled by bankruptcy court judge Mary Walrath. That cleared the way for EclipseJet Aviation International, a subsidiary of Luxembourg-based ETIRC Aviation, to acquire the company. The deal was approved verbally by the judge on Tuesday and signed off yesterday. According to an AP story, the buyer plans to pay $28 million in cash, issue $160 million in bonds and put up some $7.5 million to "wind down the business" of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Eclipse Aviation, which will change its name to EclipseJet International when the deal closes-estimated to be in two or three weeks. Current plans call for the New Mexico factory to remain in operation, joined by a new factory in Ulyanovsk, Russia, scheduled to open next year. What this all means for current Eclipse deposit holders and vendors is not totally clear. Though Randall Sanada, a member of the Customer Steering Committee, called this week's developments "a good thing," he also said that all aspects of all contracts could not possibly be honored by the new ownership.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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