Tue, Apr 06, 2010
Agreement Would Divide Assets With Builders Who Have Projects
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Randall Dunn has ruled that the assets of
Epic Air will be divided between a Chinese company who bid on the
company and builders who have projects underway for the kit-built
The judge ruled that China Aviation Industry General Aircraft
Co. could buy the assets outright, but only if it would sign an
agreement to allow the customers, organized as LT Builders Group,
to restart and manage the manufacturing facility in Bend, Oregon.
He placed a deadline of Thursday on finalizing the agreement.
The newspaper The Oregonian reports that should that
condition not be met, the judge is prepared to allow Harlo
Aerostructures of Kansas to buy Epic's assets.
Negotiations between the three parties have been going on nearly
around the clock for several days. The Chinese had originally
intended to ship the entire operation to China, saying the builders
had not prepared an adequate financial proposal.
According to the paper, the Chinese have been hoping to acquire
the technology to build turboprops for the small but rapidly
growing business aviation market in that country. If the agreement
is finalized, they will get that. And while the builders will not
have control of the company, they will be able to develop the U.S.
business under licence from China Aviation. "It's not the
position that we wanted to be in but we're going to make the best
of it," said Doug King, an LT Builders manager whose plane
Epic LT File Photo
Bend City Attorney Gary Firestone said he was pleased that the
judge had found a way to possibly keep some of the business in
Oregon, and in particular at the Bend airport where Epic had been
Harlo Aerostructures said it should not be counted out, and that
it was still looking for a way to "elbow out" the Chinese company.
But the paper reports that the judge was very clear that the
builders group was to work with the Chinese. The negotiations are
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