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Mon, Mar 26, 2007

It's Official -- RAC Is Now Hawker Beechcraft

$3.3 Billion Sale Of Former Raytheon Division Completed

Hawker Beechcraft Inc. -- the new company formed by GS Capital Partners, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs, and Onex Partners -- has completed its purchase of Raytheon Aircraft Company for approximately $3.3 billion in cash.

The Canadian investment group also holds a majority ownership in Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., of Wichita, KS. Spirit AeroSystems was formed in the 2005 purchase of Boeing's structural-components business in Wichita by the Canadian firm.

Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Ben Sciortino told the Wichita Business Journal he was "very excited" at news of the sale.

"This is big, big news," Sciortino said.

US Representative Todd Tiahrt, R-Wichita, spoke with Raytheon chairman and CEO Jim Schuster early Thursday and said he was assured Raytheon's management team would remain intact and "current Raytheon employees won't have to reapply for their jobs."

"The best plane makers in the world are in Wichita," Tiahrt says. "We've seen companies bought and split up and eventually just go away but Onex proved they're in this to make it work with Spirit. I'm relieved it's staying together like this."

The sale -- first announced December 21, 2006 -- includes Raytheon Aircraft facilities and other assets in Wichita and Salina, KS; Little Rock, AR; Dallas, TX and the company's FBO network across the United States, the United Kingdom and Mexico, according to a Raytheon press release.

"Completing the sale of Raytheon Aircraft Company gives us further opportunity to invest in and grow our government and defense business and to deliver value to our shareholders," said William H. Swanson, Raytheon's Chairman and CEO.

Raytheon said it expects to use a portion of the after tax sale proceeds for the early retirement of approximately $1.0 billion of the company's debt and for a company stock repurchase program of $750 million.

The transaction does not include Raytheon's ownership in either Flight Options, LLC or Raytheon Airline Aviation Services LLC. The 80 year-old company posted 2006 sales at $20.3 billion, specializing in defense, homeland security, and other government markets. Headquartered in Waltham, MA, Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.

"The purchase by a company in Wichita, committed to growing the aircraft base, is great news for Kansas," says Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. "Our state has had a good working relationship with Onex for some time now. They've shown a commitment to continuing the great work being done in Wichita and this move builds on that track record."

 FMI: www.raytheon.com, www.hawkerbeechcraft.com

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