Imprimis Has Sold The Florida Planemaker To The Brunei Finance
Piper has apparently very quietly been sold to one of the
world's richest men ... the Sultan of Brunei. The previous owner
... Singapore-based investment holding company Imprimis
... says on its website "We divested our interests in Piper
Aircraft and Piper Capital in October 2011."
The revelation comes just after Piper went to the Indian River
County government seeking relief from repayment of some
incentives it was offered when it opened its Vero
Beach plant in 2008. The sale to the Sultan was not mentioned in
the request to re-open negotiations on the incentive package.
VeroNews.com reports that in response to an e-mail, Imprimis
managing partner Stephen Berger would only say that "Piper is owned
by the Government of Brunei." He later said in a prepared statement
that all of the management rights and equity interests had been
transferred to the Brunei Finance Ministry. Berger also resigned as
Chairman of Piper Aircraft Inc.
The changes apparently occurred as Piper was shuffling its top
management in mid October. Simon Caldecott replaced Geoffery Berger
(Stephen's brother) as CEO, and EVP Randy Groom left the company.
In an interview
with ANN, Caldecott indicated he was not at
liberty to say what had led to the latest top management
reorganization. Shortly thereafter, the plug was pulled on the
Piper Altaire jet project.
Indian River County Administrator Joe Baird told the paper that
he is not worried about the company being owned by the Government
of Brunei. He said that he'd be far more concerned if the new owner
was not a resource-rich county like the oil-producing