Grob Aerospace could return to operations next month, with two companies in the running to buy and restart the business after the German business aircraft and military trainer maker filed for insolvency in August and ceased most operations in November.
The bidders´ names have not been officially disclosed, but an official close to the talks says they are H-3 Aerospace, based in Germany, and Guizhou Aviation Industry Group, a unit of China´s Avic. One offer foresees operations restarting in January, while the other should see that happen by the end of February.
The initial focus will be on Grob´s training aircraft, both for production and maintenance. Initial staffing would be around 70-100 people.
A selection of the actual buyer is expected before year-end.
The future of the SPn utility jet will remain in the balance longer. Both potential buyers have expressed interest in having the option to take on the business jet project. However, several issues remain to be resolved, including how to value the SPn project, given the global economic crisis-induced downturn in the business aviation market. Who actually holds the rights to the SPn design needs to be resolved as well.