2007-12-02 - Cessna buys ColumbiaCessna highest bidder for bankcrupt Columbia

Cessna kauft Columbia Aircraft<br /> In a move to further broaden its single engine product portfolio, Cessna Aircraft Company announced it was the successful bidder for select assets of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Company, a Bend, Oregon-based producer of high-performance, single-engine aircraft.

The bid of $26.4 million was the high bid in United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon. "This is a significant day as it brings together two top aircraft design and production companies to offer the global general aviation community the widest range of propeller aircraft, along with world-class product support, all under the Cessna brand – one of the most trusted names in aviation," said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO Jack. J. Pelton. "I would like to thank the 400-plus Columbia employees for their continued hard work and dedication during the bankruptcy process. We look forward to welcoming them to the Cessna family." Cessna is the world's largest general aviation manufacturer in terms of annual unit sales, producing single-engine piston aircraft, turboprops and the world's best-selling line of business jets, the Cessna Citation. Columbia has produced more than 600 aircraft in its 10-year history.
"The Columbia models are a good fit with our existing product line," Pelton said. "We look forward to providing existing Columbia owners with improved levels of service and support and introducing new customers to these outstanding aircraft." "We plan to make significant investments in Bend, in people and operations, to bolster customer satisfaction and business profitability. We will continue to improve quality, reliability and performance as we strive to deliver customer value and fulfill our commitments," Pelton said. Once the transaction is completed, which is expected to occur by December 4, 2007, the Bend operation will take on the Cessna name and be one of six Cessna manufacturing facilities. Cessna intends to rename the current Columbia product line to become the Cessna 350 and the Cessna 400. Cessna and its network of authorized dealers and service centers plan to integrate sales and support of the former Columbia aircraft, and Cessna Parts Distribution is expected to become the source for parts. Cessna also intends to develop direct communications with current owners.

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