GE Is Owed $32 Million as Supersonic-Jet Maker Aerion Liquidates
(Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. is owed about $32 million for engine-development work done for Aerion Corp., the defunct maker of supersonic jets that’s now in liquidation.
The industrial giant is the largest creditor of Aerion, which has less than $100 million of unpaid debts, said Joseph Luzinski, who is handling the asset sales for Development Specialists Inc. Aerion has few assets other than patents on supersonic-jet design, computers and furniture to repay creditors, he said.
GE, a key supplier to Aerion, was tasked with designing a new engine that would operate efficiently both at speeds above and below the sound barrier while keeping noise at a minimum. Boeing Co., which owns a third of the diluted equity in the startup planemaker, was expected to contribute its manufacturing know-how to the project. Aerion owes Boeing about $3.7 million in bridge financing, according to a legal document.
GE declined to comment on its work for Aerion or the amount it’s owed.
Even with marquee partners on board, the few assets left after Aerion folded are an indication of how far away the project was from building an actual plane. Aerion, founded by Texas billionaire Robert Bass, had planned to begin manufacturing in 2023 and making deliveries in 2027.
As late as March, the company said it had a customer backlog worth $10 billion, including Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s NetJets and its main rival in the private jet fractional ownership industry, Flexjet. The only customer deposit still owed, according to the document, is to Flexjet for $500,000.
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