Textron buying Beechcraft for $1.4 billion

A Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprop in flight.

A Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprop in flight.

Textron, the parent company of Cessna, plans to buy Beechcraft for $1.4 billion.
Beechcraft King Air 250

Beechcraft King Air 250

Textron, the owner of Cessna and Bell Helicopters, is buying Beechcraft for $1.4 billion in cash.

“The acquisition of Beechcraft is a tremendous opportunity to extend our general aviation business,” said Textron Chairman and CEO Scott C. Donnelly.

“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 plans to finance the purchase through cash and by issuing up $1.1 billion in new debt.

Bill Boisture, CEO of Beechcraft, said: “This transaction represents an important step forward in the evolution of Beechcraft’s business. The team at Beechcraft has worked tirelessly to strengthen our core business and to maintain our position as a leader in a highly competitive environment.

“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,” added Boisture.

JP Morgan advised Textron on the deal and is providing debt to finance the acquisition, while Beechcraft was advised by Credit Suisse.

Beechcraft emerged from Chapter 11 protection in February 2013, after filing for bankruptcy in May 2012. The newly-renamed Beechcraft Corporation announced it would focus solely on selling Beechcraft, military and trainer aircraft and supporting Hawker and Beechcraft customers.

The aircraft manufacturer delivered the last Hawker business jets in the first quarter of 2013, but it will begin delivering the Hawker 400XPR – an upgraded version of the existing Hawker 400 – in January 2014.

Beechcraft also signed a lucrative deal with Wheels Up in August 2013 for up to 105 brand new King Airs.