Hawker Beechcraft to Be Bought by Chinese Firm

Superior to purchase company for $1.79 billion.

Hawker Beechcraft

Hawker Beechcraft

Beechcraft King Air 350ER

Hawker Beechcraft on Monday announced an exclusivity agreement with Superior Aviation Beijing Co. in a deal that, if completed, will allow the Chinese-based company to acquire Hawker Beechcraft for a purchase price of $1.79 billion.

Hawker Beechcraft reps say Superior intends to continue present operations at the debt-plagued company while also pouring investment into the storied manufacturer's business and GA product lines. Under the agreement, Superior would not acquire Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company, which is slated to continue its T-6 trainer program and AT-6 certification process as a separate entity.

During the 45-day exclusivity period, Hawker Beechcraft and Superior – a GA parts producer owned 60 percent privately and 40 percent by the Beijing municipal government – will work to hash out the details of the agreement. If the terms aren't agreed upon in time, Hawker Beechcraft will continue with its bankruptcy plan, which intends to see the company emerge as its own independent entity.

Bill Boisture, former Hawker Beechcraft CEO and current company chairman, said the bid submitted by Superior was the “most attractive” the company received, and is one that would also grant the company greater access to the burgeoning Chinese aviation market.

Hawker Beechcraft reps say Superior intends to make the company its flagship investment in the deal that will save “thousands of American jobs.”

If the agreement goes through, Hawker Beechcraft will join a slew of other GA companies that have recently changed hands amongst foreign buyers. Last June, Cirrus completed a Merger with the Chinese firm CAIGA and last November, Diamond Aircraft was purchased by the Middle Eastern financial firm Medrar.