Cirrus Counterbid Appears Less Likely

A group of private U.S. investors led by aviation market analyst Brian Foley now appears unlikely to submit a formal counter bid for the assets of Cirrus Design prior to its sale to Chinese interests.

"The initial investor response was swift and encouraging," Foley said in a statement to the press. "We've since had time to follow up, and even contact those on our own aerospace investor list. While we continue to identify and vet more prospective investors, the general consensus thus far is to see first whether the Chinese offer currently on the table proceeds to fruition. There is some element of doubt on this, but many believe it probably will. If it doesn't, however, we have investors waiting to re-evaluate the situation. We acknowledge our investors' viewpoint in following this approach."

Foley believes other investor groups may still be working on contingency plans for Cirrus. “Some have been in contact with us, while others are more low-key,” he said. “What’s important is knowing that the merits of our concept are shared by others, which hopefully boosts the odds of restoring Cirrus as an American-owned fixture.”

Foley last month said he had received commitments from investors for about half the money he expected would be required to bid on Cirrus, which China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) Co. is thought to be buying for north of $200 million. Cirrus quickly dismissed the counter-offer speculation, saying serious investors had ample time to bid on the company, which has been owned by a Bahraini investment group since 2001.

The sale of Cirrus to CAIGA could close as early as next month.


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