Aero Business Group, a Wichita-based aviation consulting and sales representation firm, on Monday predicted possible new ownership of Beechcraft Corp. as soon as the end of the year.
That prediction was included in an ABG industry outlook that also, less surprisingly, predicted continued flat sales for Bombardier Learjet, Cessna Aircraft Co.
But it’s the notion of Beechcraft on the sales block that is the attention-grabber here.
The Wichita manufacturer has seemed as secure as it has been years, following its exit earlier this year from bankruptcy.
That move resulted in Beechcraft shuttering its line of Hawker business jets, denoted by its name change from Hawker Beechcraft Corp.
With a smaller, leaner business focused on its turboprop, piston engine, and military aircraft, Beechcraft’s profile has shifted from a company with a clouded future to one finally breaking above the clouds, as Beechcraft chairman Bill Boisture told me in April.
But ABG says it appears that acquisition — considered throughout the bankruptcy process — is still on the table, even for the stripped-down company.
“We believe that Beechcraft remains a candidate for acquisition by another aerospace firm before year’s end, based on sources we’ve found to be extremely accurate in the past,” ABG Principal Hunt Parker said in a press release.
While Beechcraft has been openly shopping the assets of its Hawker jet business, a company spokesperson declined to comment on whether the rest of the company was on the market as well.
Here is ABG’s full statement on what it sees in the local market, including its Beechcraft prediction:
Wichita, KS –The Aero Business Group (ABG), an independent aviation consulting and sales representation firm, offers a unique perspective on the business outlook for Wichita’s aerospace manufacturers…and they aren’t afraid to make potentially provocative projections, either. The three managing directors of the firm, which was founded in 2001, have more than 100 years of combined experience working at or with local aviation companies, and they are predicting that another aviation company may well step in before the end of this year and purchase either the stock or assets of Beechcraft Corporation. They also forecast flat to declining production and sales for Cessna and Bombardier Learjet in January, perspectives that are being borne out by first quarter results.
“Our ongoing relationships with the airframe manufacturers in Wichita, first as employees, as consultants, and subsequently as representatives of a variety of suppliers, have provided us with perspectives and insights that are likely to be deeper and more detailed than what analysts and observers can typically access,” said Hunt Parker, one of ABG’s principals. “Both Bombardier’s and Cessna’s first quarter results were down–as we predicted they would be at the beginning of the year–and we believe that Beechcraft remains a candidate for acquisition by another aerospace firm before year’s end, based on sources we’ve found to be extremely accurate in the past.”
With their experience and highly-developed networks, Messrs. Parker, Cecil Miller, and Jim Moore have provided effective and well-grounded advice and representation for a solid client base over ABG’s two decades of existence. For nearly two decades, Aero Business Group has represented a varied list of manufacturers from its base in the “Air Capital of the World,” helping them grow existing business and gain additional sales penetration in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Built on their extensive experience with Spirit AeroSystems, Cessna Aircraft, Bombardier Learjet and Beechcraft., they coordinate at all levels within the organizations including purchasing, supply management, engineering, marketing/sales, corporate management and product support.
“Because of frequent and often major personnel changes in OEM customer organizations, and the changing expectations and revised product development requirements being passed down to suppliers, we offer our clients–both large and small– the most effective sales channels,” Parker added. “This is even more important today with significant recent transitions in senior leadership at Beechcraft, Cessna, and Spirit AeroSystems, specifically.”
Aero Business Group’s portfolio includes clients who produce aircraft structures, major assemblies (control surfaces), sub-assemblies, detailed parts and precision machined parts, fabricated from both sheet metal and composites. They have also represented providers of aircraft galley and interior equipment, hydraulic, fuel and oxygen systems and components for general aviation aircraft, tooling and fixtures, eletromechanical motors, blowers, and actuators and aircraft welding and tubing products.