Piper Aircraft Sold
May 1, 2009 — Piper Aircraft, Inc. announced Friday that its owner, American Capital Ltd., has sold its 100 percent stake in the company to Imprimis, a corporate finance and investment management firm that operates from offices in Bangkok, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam.
A news release announcing the sale states, “Imprimis intends to invest significant capital in Piper’s current operations to strengthen its position in its traditional markets and support the development of key new products such as the PiperJet.” It was also emphasized that the new owner is committed to keeping Piper’s headquarters, production, and product development facilities in Vero Beach, Florida.
“Imprimis brings a level of support that will propel Piper from its current status as a company with a strong heritage, track record of innovation and great potential to one that is growing and pushing the envelope within general aviation,” said Piper president and CEO James K. Bass. “Imprimis’ commitment to grow Piper in both existing and emerging markets comes at a time when we are poised to enter a new era in aviation history.”
The Asia Pacific market is poised for steady growth in demand for two- to six-seat aircraft over the next five years, Imprimis claims due in part to shifting demographics and increasing demand for pilot training from training schools and flying clubs (commercial and private). Imprimis Managing Partner Stephen W. Berger pointed to Piper’s substantial track record and respect for the company in the general aviation community as being among the primary reasons to acquire the 72-year-old aircraft maker.
“Piper’s capabilities, its excellent dealer family and extensive customer base, coupled with Imprimis’ capability to provide financial support, our dedication to growing the companies we invest in and our contacts within Asia provide fertile ground for Piper to expand its business in the Asian market and throughout the world,” Berger said.
Piper currently manufactures seven models: Warrior III, Arrow, Seminole, Seneca V, Matrix, Mirage and Meridian. The PiperJet, currently in development, is slated to perform flight demonstrations at AirVenture Oshkosh 2009.