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Wed, Aug 19, 2009

Eclipse Aerospace The Winning (Only) Bidder For Eclipse Aviation

Sale Should Close August 20th

Eclipse Aerospace has agreed to pay $40 million for the assets of Eclipse Aviation, the makers of Very Light Jets based in Albuquerque, NM which closed down earlier this year and went into Chapter 7 liquidation. The bidding closed August 4th, and no other company came forward with an offer.

Eclipse Aerospace was founded by Mason Holland Jr., chairman of the insurance benefits software company Benefitfocus of Charleston, SC. Holland and three other investors plan to focus on servicing the fleet of existing Eclipse jets, and hope to eventually restart production at the Albuquerque facility.

"It's now a done deal. Eclipse is back." Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez told The New Mexico Business Weekly. Chávez said the company will start slowly hiring workers, but does not expect to be back at the employment level it enjoyed before filing for bankruptcy. Any return to aircraft production will be gradual, he said. "Eclipse has always been more important to us than the jobs it provides," Chávez said. "It represents a symbol of progress for the city. That it's now coming back is a huge victory for Albuquerque."

The Charleston Post and Courier reports that Holland decided to try to buy the company when he lost his deposit on an Eclipse 500 jet. There are reportedly 259 Eclipse jets in existence which were 'orphaned' when the company closed its doors.

FMI: www.eclipseaviation.com

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