Court approves talks on sale of Hawker Beechcraft

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Associated Press

Posted on July 17, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 17 at 6:03 PM

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A bankruptcy judge has approved Hawker Beechcraft's request to enter into exclusive negotiations with a Chinese company interested in acquiring the Kansas plane maker.

The decision handed down Tuesday allows Hawker Beechcraft to enter into talks for 45 days with Superior Aviation Beijing Co. Ltd., despite the objection filed by a machinists union.

The union claims such a sale could allow China to acquire valuable commercial and military-related technology, compromising national security.

Hawker Beechcraft chief executive Robert Miller says the agreement provides funding to preserve jobs while the company simultaneously negotiates a potential sale to Superior and prepares to emerge as a standalone entity if those talks fail.

As part of the exclusivity deal, Superior will have to pay a total of $50 million within 30 days.

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