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Beechcraft to be bought by Cessna parent company

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December 26, 2013 09:03 PM EST | AP

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The parent company of Cessna Aircraft says it has reached an agreement to buy Beechcraft Corp. for approximately $1.4 billion.

The purchase was announced Thursday night by Providence, R.I.-based Textron Inc., and would bring two mainstays of Wichita's general aviation industry under a single corporate leadership.

Textron chairman and CEO Scott C. Donnelly said in a statement that the Beechcraft acquisition is a "tremendous opportunity" for the diversified corporation to expand its general aviation business.

Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture had said in recent months he expected the company would sell at least its idled business jet assets by the end of 2013.

Donnelly said Beechcraft's King Air line of aircraft complements Cessna's Caravan and Citation jet lineup.