Updated at 4:59 p.m.
Locke Lord's government affairs unit in Washington has disclosed to Congress that it is lobbying for a Chinese company that is looking to acquire the civilian aviation business of Kansas aircraft-manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft Inc.
Superior Aviation Beijing Co. Ltd. is using Locke Lord Strategies to represent it on "aviation issues," according to a lobbying registration report filed with the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday. Locke Lord also is providing legal advice to Superior as it works to finalize a $1.79 billion deal that would make it the owner of Hawker Beechcraft's civilian aircraft operations.
But obstacles remain if Superior and Hawker Beechcraft reach a definitive agreement. The deal must receive the approval of the U.S. Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and other U.S. regulators, to proceed. The agreement also could be scuttled if another potential buyer prevails in a mandatory competitive auction overseen by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which is handling Hawker Beechcraft's bankruptcy proceedings. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in May.
Locke Lord is the first firm to lobby in the United States for either Superior or the company's owners, Beijing Superior Aviation Technology Corp. Ltd. and Beijing E-Town International Investment & Development Corp. Ltd., according to congressional records that date to 1999. Beijing Superior Aviation Technology is a private company, while Beijing E-Town International Investment & Development is under the control of the Beijing municipal government.