Hawker confirms $1.8bn sale talks with Chinese aero firm

City A.M. Reporter
BANKRUPT aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft confirmed yesterday it was in exclusive talks with a Chinese aerospace firm over a sale of the company for $1.79bn (£1.15bn), an offer that may flush out higher bids from other parties.

Chinese companies have announced a flurry of international takeovers this year, part of a decade-old “going out” policy that encourages companies to acquire natural resources and technological know-how abroad.

If finalised, Superior Aviation Beijing’s offer for the US business jet maker will be subject to an auction process and face legal and regulatory reviews in both the United States and China. The Chinese maker of plane engines and parts has offered to fund Hawker Beechcraft’s jet operations over the next six weeks.

Other aircraft makers such as Brazil's Embraer or Textron could also bid for Hawker Beechcraft when the auction process starts, industry bankers said.

Hawker Beechcraft, owned by Goldman Sachs’ private equity arm and Onex Corp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, unable to support a $2.5bn debt load amid a weak business jet market. Any deal would require a green light from the US bankruptcy court.