Hawker Beechcraft outlines bankruptcy exit strategy


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US-based aircraft manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft has outlined plans to emerge from chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which would see senior lenders taking control of the company.

Senior creditors such as Angelo Gordon, Centerbridge Partners, Sankaty Advisors and Capital Research & Management stand to gain 81.1% of the new equity in Hawker Beechcraft, while the remainder would be handed over to senior and junior noteholders, according to the company's disclosure statement filed in the Manhattan bankruptcy court.

This strategy is expected to enable Hawker to emerge as an independent company in early 2013.

In addition, it will offer a $530m exit loan, which will allow the plane manufacturer to repay its balance bankruptcy borrowings.

Although the exit plan needs approval from its lenders and the bankruptcy court, according to the Reuters report, the company claims to have secured support of its major lenders.

"Although the exit plan needs approval from its lenders and the bankruptcy court, the company claims to have secured support of its major financial backers."

Hawker Beechcraft's latest move comes after its talks with Chinese aerospace firm Superior Aviation Beijing to sell its business jet and general aviation operations for $1.79bn failed as both firms could not reach an agreement on the terms of a planned sponsorship deal.

The aircraft manufacturer had then noted that if the talks failed, it would follow a backup strategy, under which the lenders would receive a stake, although any unsecured claims would be rejected.

Hawker Beechcraft filed for chapter 11 in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in early May following a decline in the sales of business jets as a result of the global financial crisis.

On 18 October, the company said following its exit from bankruptcy, it plans to rebrand itself as Beechcraft and focus on turboprop, piston, special mission and trainer/attack aircraft, as well as high-margin spare parts, maintenance, repairs and refurbishment businesses.


Image: Hawker Beechcraft filed for chapter 11 in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in early May 2012 following a decline in the sales of business jets. Photo: courtesy of Hawker Beechcraft Corporation.