Hawker Beechcraft’s union has objected to Hawker Beechcraft conducting 45 days of exclusive negotiations with Superior Aviation of China. An attorney for the AFL-CIO says there are several troubling points. To see the court filing for yourself, go to this page and look at document 356. A hearing on the request for exclusive negotiations with Superior Aviation takes place at 2 p.m today. The attorney said little is known about the Chinese company, and asserted in a court document that even though Superior Aviation is 60 percent privately owned, the $1.79 billion asking price will be totally financed by the Chinese government. The municipality of Beijing owns 40 percent of the company. Also, the attorney alleged there is a defense risk to the United States if the deal goes through. While early announcements claimed the defense portion of Hawker Beechcraft is not involved, Superior Aviation is entitled to a $400 million refund if Hawker later decides to sell its defense business. Why would Superior Aviation get a refund, the union attorney asks, if it never bought the defense business in the first place? The motion to deny exclusive bargaining with the Chinese company, which owns Superior Air Parts in Texas and a helicopter company that is not currently producing helicopters, also expresses concerns that jobs will not be kept in Wichita.
Update: A federal judge has approved Hawker Beechcraft’s request to negotiate exclusively for 45 days with a Chinese company for purchase of all but the military portion of the Wichita firm.