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Textron to buy Beechcraft for $1.4 billion

Friday, 27 Dec 2013 | 8:25 AM ET

Textron, maker of Cessna planes, said it will buy aircraft maker Beechcraft for about $1.4 billion in cash, in a deal that sees Textron expand its aviation business.

Shares of Textron were up about 3 percent in extended trading after the announcement of the deal. (Get the latest quote.)

Beechcraft emerged from bankruptcy protection in February and was seeking buyers for its jet plane business which has been losing money.

(Watch: Moelis: M&A on long, slow & steady improvement)

Textron, which also makes the Bell helicopter, said it plans to finance the deal through a combination of available cash and up to $1.1 billion in new debt.

This Feb. 7 2012 photo shows the Hawker Beechcraft headquarters in Wichita, Kan. The aircraft maker filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday, May 3, 2012 after reaching agreement with the majority of its secured lenders and bondholders to restructure its massive debt. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle/Kansas.com, Fernando Salazar)
Fernando Salazar
This Feb. 7 2012 photo shows the Hawker Beechcraft headquarters in Wichita, Kan. The aircraft maker filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday, May 3, 2012 after reaching agreement with the majority of its secured lenders and bondholders to restructure its massive debt. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle/Kansas.com, Fernando Salazar)

The deal is one of the largest after a U.S. budget agreement that experts say could set off the most robust series of mergers and acquisitions in the aerospace and defense sector in years.

In case Beechcraft is able to find a higher bidder, it will be liable to pay a termination fee of $48 million to Textron, Beechcraft said in a statement.

(Read more: M&A: One-third of global firms planning acquisitions: EY)

Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisors to Beech Holdings. JPMorgan Chase served as financial adviser to Textron.

By Reuters

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