AAI Acquisitions is the new owner of Adam Aircraft after it bid successfully for the bankrupt aircraft manufacturer.
The $ 10 million purchase brings Adam, producer of the A500 piston twin and A700 very light jet, into the same corporate family as Bell Helicopter and Cessna. Despite "significant interest", the sole bid in a two-day auction came from unmanned air vehicle developer and service provider AAI. The terms of AAI´s buyout of Denver-based Adam do not require any of Adam´s 650 workers in three locations to be rehired.
The last Adam employee was laid off in February, coinciding with the company´s Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, which followed an intense search in January for more than $ 100 million of new capital.
Cessna and Textron had no comment to make on the sale, which is set for approval at a hearing on 9 April.
Maryland-based AAI and its parent company United Industrial were acquired by Textron in October 2007 in a $ 1.1 billion deal.
"The addition of AAI broadens our leadership into unmanned vehicles. This combination of capabilities represents a powerful growth platform, both in the near and long term," said Textron chief executive Lewis Campbell at the time.
AAI earned $ 689 million from sales in 2007, drawing on multiple US divisions of unmanned air systems, development and aircraft service and testing. Its Shadow line of fixed-wing UAVs and ducted fan models contributed $ 386 million in sales last year.
AAI has more than 2,500 employees and facilities in Charleston, South Carolina Choctaw, Mississippi Sierra Vista, Arizona Huntsville, Alabama and Orlando, Florida. Adam´s "make production fly" campaign had begun to push out its eighth A500 and certification of the A700 was hoped for in late 2008.
That VLJ may yet launch a trio of air taxi operators and promote the aircraft as it competes with the Eclipse 500.