Friday, July 13, 2012
The man known as the "Helicopter King of China" has been quietly building a small empire in aviation manufacturing. Now, Chinese industrialist Shenzong Cheng is making an ambitious play to acquire Kansas aircraft-maker Hawker Beechcraft's civilian aircraft operations.
Details of the $1.79 billion deal with Beijing-based Superior Aviation Beijing Co., Ltd., are emerging. Superior is 60 percent owned by Beijing Superior Aviation Technology Corp. That entity is entirely owned by Cheng and his wife.
Hawker Beechcraft says it is premature to talk about Cheng's role in the acquisition.
Superior CEO Tim Archer said Thursday his company intends to re-ignite Hawker's research and development and continue production of product lines, and plans to expand the production, design and servicing at all U.S. locations.