In the latest twist in a survival saga that has taken it in and out of federal bankruptcy court, Epic Aircraft, the Bend-based, privately owned aviation company that specializes in kit aircraft, announced Tuesday it will be acquired by Engineering LLC, Russia's premier Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) provider.
"The move enables both companies to leverage each other's core strengths while continuing to expand upon the same great level of ongoing commitment, products and services to all its stakeholders," the announcement said. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
Company spokeswoman Linda Turner told KTVZ.COM Epic in Bend currently has 27 employees. "We plan on hiring approximately 10 people within the next six weeks," she said, "with more to follow" -- a number as yet undetermined.
Here's the rest of the news release issued by the two companies, followed by a list of previous KTVZ.COM stories about Epic over the past five years:
The move allows Engineering LLC to leverage Epic Aircraft's leading kit aircraft manufacturing knowledge and will allow Epic to expand its services and offerings to a more global audience.
To help seamlessly execute this transition, Engineering LLC has assembled an expert board of experienced industry leaders to ensure continued positive growth for the community, employees, customers and vendors of both Engineering LLC and Epic Aircraft.
Epic Aircraft CEO Douglas King will retain his position -- ensuring the mission of committed success for both companies continues moving forward.
"It's exciting to be a part of Epic Aircraft's next chapter. Working together with Engineering LLC, Epic will be able to extend our great commitment and dedication to the aircraft manufacturing industry including our customers, employees, vendors and all other stakeholders. This will be a truly significant move for the future of both companies," said Douglas King, CEO of Epic Aircraft.
Current Epic Aircraft employees will benefit from Engineering LLC's industry-advanced tools and resources as they become available to the company's manufacturing and business operations within the Bend community.
With a commitment to ensure the security, safety and happiness of all employees, the Engineering LLC and Epic Aircraft management teams are working together to provide an environment that allows all of their employees to contribute to future success. Following the growth this deal will create, Epic Aircraft will immediately begin hiring at all levels of the organization.
"We're pleased to bring aboard Doug and Epic Aircraft's industry knowledge and expertise. Being able to collaborate with Epic Aircraft's years of experience in the manufacturing industry will allow Engineering LLC and Epic Aircraft to enter a new industry of services and aircraft manufacturing that will lead us both to continued success in the future," added Engineering LLC General Director Vladimir Perekrestov.
Under Engineering LLC, Epic Aircraft will continue to manufacture and sell its existing line of aircraft to current and prospective customers and will offer current customers the ability to trade up previous purchases for a new Epic once certification has been approved.
The Epic LT line will remain in production using Epic Aircraft and Engineering LLC's combined advanced resources to complete orders of the kit aircraft more quickly and secure certification. By heightening the emphasis on the Epic LT, Engineering LLC makes a commitment to continue Epic Aircraft's pursuit of the certification process, moving it beyond the experimental market to provide a truly refined product for the entire industry.
About Epic Aircraft
Epic Aircraft is a high performance airplane manufacturer based in Bend, Oregon. The company specializes in manufacturing turbine kit aircraft models including the Epic Escape and Epic LT.
About Engineering LLC
Engineering LLC is an EASA approved Russian based MRO holding company. Engineering LLC specializes in line and base maintenance up to multiple C-Checks for Airbus, Boeing, ATR and Bombardier type aircraft.