Beechcraft, formerly Hawker Beechcraft, announced Tuesday it has formally emerged from the Chapter 11 process as a new company well positioned to compete vigorously in the worldwide business aviation, special mission, trainer and light attack markets.
Beechcraft exits the restructuring process with a dramatically reduced debt load, a stable, restructured balance sheet and the support of a well-capitalized shareholder base, the company said in a press statement.
"Today marks the rebirth of an 80-year-old American aircraft manufacturing business with a globally recognized brand," said Bill Boisture, chief executive officer of Beechcraft. "We have a strong line of versatile and globally renowned products like the King Air turboprop and the T-6 military trainer aircraft, and the largest global customer support network in the industry. Our highly skilled and dedicated work force is focused on building aircraft of exceptional quality and reliability. With these elements as our foundation for the future, we will compete worldwide and we will win.”
Beechcraft's product portfolio includes the King Air family of the 350i, 250 and C90GTx. The worldwide fleet of more than 7,000 King Air turboprops serves a wide variety of missions and has amassed more than 50 million flight hours while operating in 115 countries around the world. Its piston-engine Bonanza G36 and Baron G58 twin continue to represent the pinnacle of high-performance, six-passenger capability for their class. A global fleet of nearly 25,000 Baron and Bonanza aircraft also serves as an entry-level platform for the King Air line. The company's defense products include the proven T-6 military trainer that touts a worldwide fleet of nearly 800 aircraft and more than 2.1 million flight hours, along with the newly introduced multi-role AT-6 for the Light Attack mission.
The company's Global Customer Support team and its factory-owned service center network, Hawker Beechcraft Services, will continue supporting all Hawker and Beechcraft products. The network includes 10 facilities in the United States, Mexico and the United Kingdom, along with more than 90 authorized service centers around the world.
Robert Johnson is the chairman of the company's new board. Its other members are: retired Air Force Gen. Donald Cook, Gene Davis, Ralph Heath, David Tolley, Gideon Argov, Mark Ronald, Paul Fulchino and Bill Boisture. The company's leadership team remains in place, providing continuity and stability in running the business.
As previously announced, Beechcraft secured $600 million in permanent financing, including a $425 million term loan facility and a $175 million revolving facility. A portion of the term loan facility was used to repay the company's debtor-in-possession credit facility and to satisfy certain settlement and cure costs payable under the plan. The remainder, together with the revolving facility, is funding ongoing operations.
As detailed in the plan, effective on Friday, pre-petition secured bank debt, unsecured bond debt, and certain general unsecured claims have been canceled and holders of such claims received equity in the reorganized company in the percentages negotiated by the major creditor groups at the time the company commenced its Chapter 11 proceedings.
The company's headquarters and major manufacturing facilities are located in Wichita, Kan.
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