Report: Textron Buying Beechcraft for $1.4 Billion

The Financial Times caused a stir with a report that Cessna parent company Textron has reached an agreement to buy Beechcraft for $1.4 billion.

Neither company has commented on the story, which sent Textron's stock soaring after the news first leaked on Friday. According to the report, Beechcraft hired Credit Suisse in October to identify potential suitors, which are rumored also to have included Embraer and Indian group Mahindra & Mahindra.

Since the original story broke, few new details have emerged. For instance, there was no word on whether the deal might include any assets related to the Hawker business jet line, which is reportedly being sold separately.

Beechcraft emerged from bankruptcy nine months ago as a leaner company focused on its profitable propeller airplane products. Over the summer, startup firm Wheels Up placed a $1.4 billion order for 104 King Air turboprops, injecting new vigor into the Wichita company.

When asked about the rumored deal by Bloomberg, a Textron spokesman wouldn't confirm the story, but said that Textron CEO Scott Donnelly has indicated to analysts on the past two earnings calls that the company was interested in buying Beechcraft and was monitoring the situation.

In addition to Cessna, Textron also owns Bell Helicopter and Textron AirLand, the unit that is developing the Scorpion tactical jet.

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