Posts Tagged ‘NBAA convention’

Mystery buyers plucking recession-stessed firms

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

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.