Eclipse Auction Draws No New Qualified Bids

Jan 14, 2009
Fred George

As the deadline for filing intentions to bid for the assets of insolvent Eclipse Aviation in US Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, expired at close of business on Tuesday, January 13th, EclipseJet Aviation International, a subsidiary of Roel Pieper's Luxembourg-based ETIRC, remained the sole bidder.

In the absence of qualified competitive bidders, US Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Walrath, who is handling the Eclipse case, is due to hear motions to sell Eclipse's assets to EclipseJet on Friday, January 16th.

ETIRC currently is Eclipse Aviation's largest shareholder. Pieper, acting as president of Eclipse since its Board of Directors axed company founder Vern Raburn in late July 2008, knows more about its finances and failed relationships with vendors and suppliers than anyone now associated with the firm. For an offering of $28-million in cash, plus $160-million in new equity notes, Pieper now expects that his EclipseJet Aviation subsidiary will be the new owner of Eclipse in less than one week.

Several dark-horse firms had looked at competing with EclipseJet Aviation International in the proposed auction for Eclipse Aviation's assets. Among these were Hawker-Beechcraft, a group backed by the Eclipse 500 Owners Club and a consortium of vendors that wanted to bring back Vern Raburn to lead the new firm. In the end, though, none wanted to pony up the ante needed to compete with EclipseJet.

AviationWeek.com photo by Frances Fiorino

AVIATION WEEK Copyright 2008, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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