New Textron Aviation Brings Together Cessna, Beechcraft

Cessna and Beechcraft are officially part of the same company, the newly formed Textron Aviation, after parent company Textron on March 14 closed its acquisition of Beech Holdings LLC, the parent of Beechcraft Corp.

Cessna and Beechcraft together recorded about $4.6 billion in revenues in 2013, making the combination a general aviation powerhouse. The $1.4 billion acquisition of Beech Holdings actually brings together three iconic brands, with the third being Hawker, which lives on through the business jet unit's service arm. Scott Ernest, who has served as Cessna's President and CEO since 2011, will lead Textron Aviation as CEO.

"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. "Uniting these brands creates a robust industry competitor, operating as one team with a common goal to serve customers everywhere our aircraft fly."

Donnelly said Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker will each remain distinct brands "to preserve their rich histories and respective strengths in the marketplace." Bell Helicopter, Lycoming and Textron AirLand, the other aviation holdings owned by Textron, have not been rolled into Textron Aviation.

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