Call For 'Mutually Beneficial' Relationship... But 'Will
Consider All Options'
Customers of Eclipse Aviation announced this week the formation of
an Ad Hoc Customers Committee to represent owners and position
holders -- many of whose dreams of flight remain grounded, they
say, since the troubled VLJ manufacturer filed Chapter 11
bankruptcy on November 25.
Prior to the filing of the Chapter 11 case, Eclipse delivered
259 aircraft and took deposits in the estimated amount of $300
million for future deliveries of aircraft. The company recently
reported its order book stands at approximately 1,100 aircraft...
but with uncertainty looming about the struggling company's future,
it's a distinct possibility depositors who hadn't yet received
their planes never will.
The bankruptcy also affects existing owners,
who have already found their maintenance and repair options
severely curtailed by Eclipse's travails.
"Eclipse customers hold contracts under which Eclipse is
obligated to provide warranty coverage, upgrades, uninstalled
equipment, maintenance coverage, subscription services, and future
aircraft deliveries," the committee says. "In terms of dollar
amount, customers are likely the largest constituency in Eclipse's
Chapter 11 case."
David Green was selected to be chairperson by Committee
representatives. Green is also the president of the Eclipse 500
Owners Club, a founding group of Eclipse 500 jet owners and
position holders. The Committee's steering committee members
include: Mason Holland, Shaun Hughes, Ron Lebel, Daniel Mancini,
Ken Meyer, Don Morris, Mike Press, Randall Sanada and Raul
"The Ad Hoc Customers Committee is funded by the owners and
position holders in recognition that a unified voice is the most
effective way to ensure that customers are fairly treated and that
the Eclipse order book is preserved as one of the most valuable
assets of Eclipse," Green said.
As ANN reported, Eclipse is seeking authority
to sell substantially all its assets under Section 363 of the
Bankruptcy Code. This week, Albuquerque television station KRQE-13
reported a federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware had approved
Eclipse's Chapter 11 plan, and that the company has until January
12 to line up a buyer... or else be forced into liquidation by the
Current Eclipse CEO Roel Pieper is also chairman of ETIRC,
Eclipse's largest shareholder... as well as the most prominent
bidder for Eclipse's assets. KRQE notes court documents show at
least two bidders for the company, however. What that means to
customers remains unclear.
"Finding a mutually beneficial outcome with the purchaser is our
purpose; but all options are under consideration as we fulfill our
mandate of protecting the interests of the customer group," Green
The Customer Committee retained the law firm of Perkins Coie as
lead counsel, Klehr Harrison, as local counsel in Delaware, and the
financial advisory firm of Obsidian Finance Group, LLC to represent
its interests. Steven Hedberg leads the legal team and Kevin
Padrick leads the team providing financial advisory services.