Aircraft manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft Inc. (Wichita, Kan., USA) on May 3 announced that it has reached an agreement with a significant number of its senior secured lenders and senior bondholders on the terms of a financial restructuring plan with the intent of strengthening the company for the future and eliminate approximately $2.5 billion in debt and approximately $125 million of annual cash interest expense.
To implement the terms of the prearranged restructuring, Hawker Beechcraft and certain of its subsidiaries today filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The terms of the prearranged restructuring agreement will take effect when the company’s reorganization plan is confirmed by the Court and the Chapter 11 case is concluded.
As part of the prearranged restructuring, Hawker Beechcraft obtained a commitment for $400 million in Debtor-in-Possession (DIP) financing, which will enable it to continue paying employees, suppliers, vendors and others in the normal course of business.
Robert S. (Steve) Miller, CEO of Hawker Beechcraft, says, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with our largest lenders and bondholders on a solution to stabilize and improve our capital structure. In the last three years, the company has made aggressive transformational changes in all operational functions, and today’s announcement represents the next step forward. Restructuring our balance sheet and recapitalizing the company in partnership with our debtholders will dramatically improve Hawker Beechcraft’s ability to compete in a rapidly changing environment.”
Hawker Beechcraft continues to operate in the normal course of business and serve its customers around the world. All orders for available products will be fulfilled and the company’s commitment to providing the best products and service in the industry remains unchanged. Further, the company will comply with all Department of Defense acquisition and maintenance contracts, as well as agreements with international air forces including, but not limited to, the recently announced sale of T-6C+ trainer aircraft to Mexico. Hawker Beechcraft is also committed to moving forward with its bid to provide the U.S. Air Force with the AT-6 in support of the Light Air Support contract.
A prearranged Chapter 11 filing means the company has secured the support of a majority of its lenders and senior bondholders for its proposed financial restructuring prior to the Chapter 11 filing with the Court. Financial institutions representing more than two-thirds the company’s bank and senior bond debt are parties to the agreement. Upon confirmation by the Court and consummation of the plan, equity ownership in Hawker Beechcraft will be transferred to holders of the company’s secured debt, bond debt and certain other unsecured creditors.
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