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Wed, Dec 10, 2003

Aero-News Alert: OMF GmbH Declares Bankruptcy in Germany

OMF Aircraft Inc. (the North American Company) Restructuring

The last few years have been tough on general aviation... even for some of the best and brightest in the biz. Following up on last week's announcement of financial difficulties with the highly regarded OMF Symphony program, we now learn that the German parent company has filed for bankruptcy protection.

OMF GmbH, of Trollenhagen Germany, the parent company of OMF Aircraft, declared bankruptcy in Germany Tuesday, December 9. OMF GmbH, which was established in 1998 and employed 60 people, produced the two-place single-engine Symphony 160 aircraft and was developing the Symphony 135D and Symphony 250.

In light of the bankruptcy of OMF GmbH, OMF Aircraft Inc. of Three-Rivers, Canada has announced its plan to restructure. The company, which is now controlled by the Societe Generale de Financement du Quebec ("SGF"), is seeking new investment partners to provide the funding required to complete its establishment as a stand-alone aircraft designer and manufacturer.

Paul Costanzo, President of OMF Aircraft Inc., said, "The bankruptcy of OMF GmbH is a tragedy. Years of hard work and major investment have been lost to the Stinnes Group. All of us at OMF Aircraft feel for the employees of OMF GmbH and the Stinnes Group, particularly Matt and Derek Stinnes, who have been the visionaries behind the Symphony product line. We are committed to pursuing that vision. The seed they have planted here in North America has all the ingredients necessary to become a very successful enterprise."

OMF Aircraft plans to establish its own design, development and continuing airworthiness capability by recruiting engineering talent primarily within Quebec, which has one of the world's largest pools of aerospace talent. The company also plans to resume production in May 2004, which will provide it the time necessary to transition the civil aviation airworthiness authority to Transport Canada, and to complete the establishment of a North American supply base. Accordingly, the company plans to recall the employees that were laid-off in November 2003 by May 2004, and to recruit additional production and production support employees shortly thereafter.

"Our intent is to finalize the new financing as soon as possible, to resume deliveries against our backlog of over 40 aircraft and to complete of the development of the Symphony 135D and Symphony 250. We have an outstanding team here in Three Rivers that is committed to the success of OMF Aircraft," Costanzo added.

OMF Aircraft manufactures and markets the Symphony 160, a two-place, high wing, single engine aircraft. Two other aircraft are in development - the diesel/Jet-A powered Symphony 135D and the four-place Symphony 250 (formerly known as the Symphony 4). Symphony aircraft offer what pilots want in personal transportation - sporty good looks, performance, utility and comfort at an affordable price. Symphony aircraft from OMF make flying fun again.

We expect to have some more news on this story following a press briefing scheduled for Wednesday.

FMI: www.omf-aircraft.com

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