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Hawker nears deal with Chinese company


Hawker Beechcraft expects to finalize a buyout deal with a Chinese firm in the next few days, though employees could have their pensions frozen if the deal gets approved. Superior Aviation Beijing Company stands to gain ownership of Hawker in the $1.8 billion deal, assuming the bankruptcy court approves it and assuming Superior isn’t outbid in a court-required auction. Under the plan, employees would have their pensions frozen at their current levels, though Hawker would agree to pay the nearly $500 million that it has failed to set aside into the fund in recent years. An overwhelming majority of employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers agreed to the pension provisions. In related news, the bankruptcy judge handling the case struck down the Hawker’s plans to pay eight of its top executives a combined $5.3 million in bonuses. The judge said the bonuses amounted to paying the top brass for little more than just doing their jobs, not reaching the threshold of achieving so-called “challenging goals” that judges look at when approving bonuses in bankruptcy cases. Last month, the court approved Hawker’s plan to dole out $1.9 million in bonuses to 31 other management-level employees.