Grob Insolvent After loss of Funding

Business Jet Traveler » October 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 - 5:00am

Grob Aerospace filed for insolvency in Germany after its main source of capital suddenly withdrew financial support for the SPn light business jet program. CEO Niall Olver said the loan provider pulled out because of further delays in the certification program and resulting increases in the amount of money required to get the aircraft into service. Grob is evaluating alternative means of financing. The SPn was expected to be certified in the fourth quarter, but this appears to be in doubt. The insolvency relates purely to Grob's German subsidiary, which employs 500 people.

The Zurich-based Swiss Grob AG holding company is still solvent, as is its new U.S. subsidiary in Portsmouth, N.H. Grob AG is currently developing a completions and delivery center for the SPn at St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport in Switzerland. Bombardier expects Grob to continue as composite structures partner for the Learjet 85.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy