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Hawker’s Deal with China ‘Helicopter King’ Collapses

Thu. October 18, 2012

The controversial $1.79 billion proposal to sell Wichita, KS-based Hawker Beechcraft to a Beijing-based firm headed by a shadowy figure known as “China’s Helicopter King” has fallen through, according to an announcement today by Hawker CEO Steve Miller.

“Despite our best efforts, the proposed transaction with Superior could not be completed on terms acceptable to the company,” said Miller, who added that the company was evaluating strategic options with creditors for its Hawker product lines.

Hawker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and announced in July that it was in exclusive talks with the little-known Chinese firm over the sale of the company’s non-defense division.

Following intense negotiations between Hawker and the IAM, members ratified a pension plan modification that preserved members’ ability to retire under terms of the current defined benefit pension plan. The contract change, which was proposed by Hawker and endorsed by the District 70, Local 733 Bargaining committee, also protected existing retirees’ pension benefits.

“It is important to note that today’s developments do not cancel or modify the terms of the pension agreement that was ratified by IAM members in August,” said IAM Aerospace Coordinator Ron Eldridge. “As the Hawker bankruptcy case unfolds, the IAM will continue to monitor the situation and act aggressively on behalf of our members, their families and our retirees.”

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