US fractional-ownership provider Flight Options has placed an order for 100 Embraer Phenom 300 light business jets, plus options for 50 more, in a deal valued at almost $1 billion.

The order was finalised when Miami-based private-equity firm HIG Capital completed its purchase of Flight Options from Raytheon. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Raytheon expects a fourth-quarter charge of $45 million to write down the net assets of Flight Options consistent with the final sales prices.

Cleveland, Ohio-based Flight Options has the second-largest fractional fleet in the USA, with more than 140 Hawker 400XPs, Hawker 800XPs, Cessna Citation Xs and Embraer Legacy 600s. Deliveries of the Phenom 300 will begin in 2009.

Flight Options began operations in 1998, and merged with Raytheon's Travel Air fractional-ownership business in 2002. In late 2005 Raytheon took over full ownership of the struggling operator.

In early 2007, when defence giant Raytheon sold its aircraft unit to private-equity firms Onex and Goldman Sachs for $3.3 billion, it held on to the fractional unit. Its sale to HIG was announced in October.

Embraer has already announced several Phenom sales to US fractional operators, including the May 2007 sale of up to 20 Phenom 100 very-light jets and four Phenom 300s to Kansas City-based Executive AirShare. In October 2006, Orlando-based fractional provider Avantair ordered 20 Phenom 100s.

Source: Flight International