Should Hawker Beechcraft’s owners — Onex Corp. and GS Capital Partners — sell off the company? A long-time veteran of corporate aircraft thinks so, he wrote in a report. In fact, the owners should sell it off in parts.
Hawker Beechcraft’s various product lines are potentially more valuable separated out, Canadian-based Zenith Jet vice president George Tsopeis said. (Before joining Zenith Jet, Tsopeis spent 10 years at Bombardier Aerospace, many of them in strategy and business development.)
Tsopeis stressed in a conversation with the Wichita Eagle that his report was based solely on his opinion and not on rumor or inside information.
“Breaking up the company (Hawker Beechcraft) at the onset of the recovery will bring the greatest return given the upcoming capital investment requirements into their aircraft programs and when underachieving product lines can still be salvaged (by buyers who won’t be saddled with HBC’s massive overhead),” he wrote.
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Finding buyers for the company’s King Air lines and Baron and Bonanza models would be easy, he wrote. The military trainers would be attractive to BAE Systems, while the company’s Hawker 4000 line would make a good fit with Embraer, Tsopeis wrote.
Hawker Beechcraft responded that Onex had no participation in the development of the report and some of the analyst's premises were incorrect. “Goldman Sachs and Onex are strong, experienced investors and are fully backing the company in its efforts to focus for the future,” the company said in an e-mail.
Consultant Brian Foley said the report brings to light the thought processes general aviation manufacturers have had to go through recently. “In short, everything’s on the table when developing strategic plans in this environment,” Foley said.
There’s a lot to be said for keeping Hawker Beechcraft in tact as a business unit, said Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia. “Big is good in the aircraft industry.”
In a sale, “you risk losing synergy and critical mass,” Aboulafia said.