Au Revoir, Beechcraft

RSS

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

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Aug 27, 2015
blog

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 14

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Bonanza Travel Pays 3

The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza has an impressive production record, so perhaps the marketers back in 1949 were onto something when they coined the phrase "Bonanza travel pays."...More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Venerable Boeing 727 Prototype To Fly Again 28

The most famous 727, the prototype aircraft which would join United as N7001U, was delivered to the airline in October 1964 having served its time as a Boeing test aircraft....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Aviation Week And The Bomb

Aviation News did not predict how nuclear weapons would change the world. But neither did anyone else....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Collins Radar Takes The Ups And Downs Out Of Flying

Turbulence? Rockwell Collins had a solution for those bumpy rides in the early 80s with its WXR-700 Doppler Weather Radar....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×