Rumors Fly Over Possibility That Cessna, Textron May Be For Sale

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cessna’s future is in question as rumors that the company and possibly its parent company, Textron, may be for sale.

The rumors are growing because of Textron’s need to raise cash due to financial troubles during the economic downturn. In recent days, the rumors have taken on a new life in Wall Street financial circles.

So far, no one has officially commented. Karen Gordon Quintal of Textron External Communications says: “Textron does not comment on market rumors and speculation.”

Textron’s financial trouble is tied to mortgage-backed securities; they need money to pay off more than $3.5 billion in debt.

Unfortunately, the timing is bad.

“Textron would not be selling at the top of the market. They’d be selling at the bottom,” said aviation analyst Brian Foley.

Rumored buyers include Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

“Business is business. We’ve been sold before,” said one employee.

Cessna, along with other Wichita general aviation planemakers have gone through a company sale:

  • 1979: Hawker Beechcraft was bought by Raytheon.

  • 1986: Cessna was bought by General Dynamics.

  • 1990: Learjet was bought by Bombardier.

  • 1992: Textron bought Cessna from General Dynamics.

  • 2007: Onex bought Raytheon Aircraft.

    The speculation that the company may be up for sale has caused a rise in Textron’s stock price.

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