Textron Shows Interest In Hawker Beechcraft

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Textron is repeating its interest in buying Hawker Beechcraft today. The head of Textron says it all boils down to whether the ‘price is right’ for some or even all of Hawker’s assets.

Textron CEO Scott Donnelly says, "We've always expressed an interest. I think some of the assets of the company are interesting and I think would be a good fit in our company."

Some of Hawker Beechcraft’s assets, perhaps attractive to the parent of Cessna Aircraft, might include Hawker’s defense business. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court this week gave Hawker permission to negotiate exclusively with Superior Aviation, a Chinese-owned company, for 45 days. But Hawker’s defense work is not included in Superior’s bid. At the end of Superior’s exclusive arrangement, other bidders, including Textron, could come forward.

"These are assets in which we have an interest but again it would have to be at a value we felt was appropriate," says Donnelly.

In other words, the right price, he says. Donnelly describes Superior’s nearly $1.8 billion bid as high.

"The number that's out there is a pretty high number," he says.

Donnelly says he’s pleased with the direction the Cessna team is going. Cessna delivered 49 new Citation jets during the second quarter compared with 38 the same period last year. He says Textron, while interested in Hawker’s assets, can watch but not buy.

"So, we don't have to do something here,” says Donnelly. “If it's the right value and for our business, then absolutely we're interested. But if it's not going to be something that's a good financial deal and not a good investment for our shareholders, then we'll pass on these things."

The Textron chief says he’s confident Cessna will continue to be competitive against Hawker’s products regardless of who winds up owning the company.

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