Au Revoir, Beechcraft


Beechcraft’s announced sale to Cessna-parent Textron hardly comes as a surprise. In a roundtable with Aviation Week editors in July, Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture noted that three of the company’s major shareholders specialized in distressed properties and expressed doubts they were investing in the storied aircraft company for the long haul. But what really stands out is the price: $1.4 billion. In December 2006, when Raytheon struck a deal to sell the Wichita, Kan.-based operation to a partnership of Goldman Sachs and Canadian buyout firm Onex, it commanded $3.3 billion.

That was a very different time. Demand for business jets was so strong that some industry veterans were predicted the industry had become recession proof. And initially, the purchase of the company -- then known as Hawker Beechcraft -- looked to be a smart move. In the summer of 2008, backlog hit a record $7.4 billion, more than double the $3 billion it stood at when Raytheon sold, and sales were up 47% from a year earlier. 

But some savvy investors questioned early on whether Goldman and Onex could capitalize on their investment, given the hefty price that they paid. “This is… a bet on the future of general and business aviation, which has been remarkably strong in the last few years,” private aerospace investor Jon B. Kutler told Aviation Week at the time.

As it turns out, it was a very bad bet. 

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Things With Wings?

Aviation Week's civil aviation blog

A Century of Aviation Week

Aviation Week & Space Technology is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Aug 26, 2016

When Aviation Week Was Accused of Treason -- The Back Story Revealed 8

A 1957 revelation that the U.S. was tracking Soviet missile launches from a secret radar in Turkey has its roots in sleuthing of students from Kettering Grammar School in the UK....More
Aug 23, 2016

When Aviation Week Was Accused Of Treason 23

Aviation Week editors routinely get blowback when they write about sensitive topics, and the best example of that may be an October 1957 story that revealed the U.S. had been tracking Russian missile launches from advanced long-range radar units in Turkey....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×