Al Marsh

Mystery buyers plucking recession-stessed firms

October 23, 2009 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

Seven people who represented high rollers or were themselves high rollers patrolled the aisles of the National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando this week looking for companies to buy. I met one of them at breakfast. His particular area was aircraft manufacturers and he said the others represent avionics buyers and other specialties. He wore a badge naming him an official of a firm that does not employ him. I checked later and found he was a guest of that firm’s CEO. I didn’t determine whether he was working in conjunction with the other six buyers or just working for himself.

I mentioned this to a woman staffing an exhibit for a small firm that builds infrared cockpit displays for aircraft. Five months ago during an aerospace show a seemingly hot prospect made an appointment with her for a briefing on the firm’s products. After she finished her presentation he said, “Now I can make you an offer for your company.” She explained she was an employee, and selling the firm out from under her boss did not sound like a good idea. She later called the owner and said, “I think I just sold your company.” The offer was rejected.

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3 Responses to “Mystery buyers plucking recession-stessed firms”

  1. 8 Says:

    I’d like to see some fat wallets really get into aviation! lets see some money into some cool projects!

  2. Clint White Says:

    Somewhat of a classic case of “bottom feeding” but good money can smell a deal when they see it. I believe there is some real power players out there anticipating an aviation turnaround in the near future. If they can snap up some inexpensive operations now, their overhead will be quite low and they will be PERFECTLY positioned when things turn around.

    Its called smart business.

  3. Windows 8 Technical Manual Says:

    I’d like to see some fat wallets really get into aviation! lets see some money into some cool projects!

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