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Textron moves ahead with plans to acquire Beechcraft

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, at 11:07 a.m.

Plans for Cessna Aircraft’s parent company, Textron, to acquire Beechcraft are moving forward.

Two transition teams – one from Cessna and one from Beechcraft – have been formed to work out the details, Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture said this week.

A steering committee made up of Boisture, Textron CEO Scott Donnelly and Cessna CEO Scott Ernest has also formed.

“We will meet regularly and frequently as the transition team and will meet monthly with the steering committee to review the progress that the teams are making,” Boisture said.

The news that Textron finalized a deal to buy Beechcraft for about $1.4 billion was announced in late December.

It’s expected to close in the first half of this year, pending government approvals.

The necessary paperwork for regulatory approval has been filed, Boisture said.

The transaction also includes the assets of the Hawker 4000 and Premier IA type certificates along with Beechcraft’s Plant 3. Those assets had been up for sale separately.

Textron intends to continue with Beechcraft branding.

But the team will work out details such as what will happen with employment levels, production sites and how to reduce costs.

Textron’s Donnelly said recently that the deal will require “restructuring and optimization of costs.”

“Clearly, we need to take actions necessary to make Cessna and Beechcraft profitable and healthy businesses,” Donnelly said in an interview with The Eagle last month.

That includes continuing to invest in the companies’ product lines and service businesses as well as restructuring, Donnelly said. The restructuring will likely include some job cuts, he said.

“I would expect that,” Donnelly said.

“We’ll have to look at the general and administrative costs” and how to manage two global service networks, Donnelly said at the time.

Textron had its eye on Beechcraft for several months. Beechcraft had revived a sale process a year after a deal to sell to Superior Aviation Beijing Co. in China – during Beechcraft’s bankruptcy restructuring – fell apart.

Beechcraft emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2013.

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mmcmillin.

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