Cessna parent company Textron has reached agreement to acquire Beechcraft under a US$1.5 billion deal that comes 10 months after the latter exited from bankruptcy protection.
The acquisition, to be completed over the next few months, will bring together two of general aviation’s iconic brands within the one company. Of primary interest to Textron is Beechcraft’s King Air twin turboprop line and the military T-6 Texan II turboprop trainer. Less clear is the future of Beechcraft’s Bonanza single and Baron twin piston engined lines, and what plans Textron has for Beechcraft’s 3,300 strong workforce. Both Cessna and Beechcraft are based in Wichita, Kansas.
Under the deal Textron is also acquiring the type certificates to the out-of-production Hawker 4000 and Premier IA, plus support organisation Hawker Beechcraft Services.
“Textron’s experience in the industry and its willingness to invest in and maintain the iconic Beechcraft brand make it an ideal parent company, one that will help us continue to satisfy our customers and meet our business objectives at a faster pace,” Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture said in announcing the deal in late December.
“The acquisition of Beechcraft is a tremendous opportunity to extend our general aviation business,” Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly said in a statement. “From our customers’ perspective, this creates a broader selection of aircraft and a larger service footprint – all sharing the same high standards of quality and innovation. The iconic King Air product line perfectly complements our Caravan and Citation jet line-up and our combined global service network will deliver the superior level of services expected by our Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker customers.”
Textron also owns Bell Helicopter, and through its Avco subsidiary, Lycoming engines.