Albuquerque, NM — Amid heavy speculation of turmoil, Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), announced today that it is seeking court approval for debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing and procedures for the sale of substantially all of its assets under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. According to the company, the proposed sale will enable the business to continue as an industry leader in the manufacture and sale of VLJs with lower costs and reduced debt liabilities.
Eclipse filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware simultaneously announcing an agreement for the sale of its assets for a combination of cash, equity and debt to an affiliate of ETIRC Aviation S.a.r.l., Luxembourg, subject to higher and better offers. ETIRC Aviation, a principal driver of the VLJ industry in Europe, is currently Eclipse’s largest shareholder. ETIRC Aviation’s Chairman Roel Pieper has been the acting CEO of Eclipse since July 2008 and has served as Eclipse’s Chairman since January 2008. The proposed sale is subject to competitive bidding through a public auction, which is expected to be completed and a sale finalized in January 2009.
“In the face of unprecedented economic challenges, it is clear that the sale of the Eclipse business through the Chapter 11 process is the right course of action to maximize the value of the business, secure its future and protect the best interests of Eclipse’s stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees and creditors,” said Roel Pieper, CEO of Eclipse Aviation. “The successful sale will position the business for aggressive global expansion, allowing the company to fulfill its promise and solidify its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of VLJs.”