The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York this afternoon approved Hawker Beechcraft’s motion to enter into exclusive negotiations with Superior Aviation Beijing regarding a sale of the planemaker’s assets for at least $1.79 billion.
The approval allows the company and Superior to spend 45 days in due diligence and negotiations.
As part of the agreement, Superior will make a $25 million deposit by the end of the week to keep Hawker Beechcraft’s jet business in place.
Superior will make a second $25 million deposit within the next 30 days.
Any agreement would be subject to approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and other regulatory agencies. It also would be subject to termination if another buyer outbids the company in a mandatory competitive auction of the assets. The auction will be overseen by the bankruptcy court.
If negotiations are not concluded in a timely manner, Hawker Beechcraft will move forward with court confirmation of a Joint Plan of Reorganization filed with the bankruptcy court on June 30. The plan contemplates the company emerging as a standalone entity with a more focused portfolio of airplanes.
More specifically, the company said, it would wind down the jet-related businesses, “a process that likely would have commenced already but for Superior’s compelling proposal to the company,” Hawker Beechcraft said in a press release.