US group puts Cirrus take-over bid on hold

Washington DC
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A US-based investor group has shelved an unsolicited bid to acquire Cirrus and prevent the Minnesota-based firm's take-over by a Chinese company.

Six weeks after launching his "eleventh-hour" bid for Cirrus, general aviation consultant Brian Foley now says his potential proposal is on hold.

Foley says his investors are waiting to hear the outcome of the US government's review of a Cirrus buy-out offer from AVIC subsidiary China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA).

"The general consensus [from investors] thus far is to see first whether the Chinese offer currently on the table proceeds to fruition," Foley says in a statement. "There is some element of doubt on this, but many believe it probably will. If it doesn't, however, we have investors waiting to re-evaluate the situation."

Foley's attempt to restore US ownership of Cirrus, which is currently controlled by Bahrain-based Arcapita, was never viewed seriously by his target.

Cirrus chairman Dale Klapmeier told Flightglobal earlier this month that he never heard from Foley during the three years he was searching for investors.

Foley says he was "struck by how passionately the community wanted Cirrus to be back in American hands", which prompted him to try and assemble a group of investors.

The group is still vetting more investors to join, Foley says, but is not prepared to move forward with making an unsolicited bid until after the US review is complete.

"We acknowledge our investors' viewpoint in following this approach," Foley says.