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The information contained in these press releases and statements was accurate, in all material respects, at the time of issuance. However, Continental Aerospace Technologies GmbH assumes no obligation to update the information to reflect subsequent developments.

May 27, 2008
Statement by Dr. Bruno M. Kübler, on the occasion of the press conference of Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH

  ILA, Berlin -
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Insolvency proceedings represent a real caesura for all of the parties concerned. For the entrepreneur who must fear the loss of a life’s work. For the creditors – primarily banks and suppliers – who suffer the loss of a lot of money and, to the extent that it has an impact on the latter, they are not infrequently threatened in their existence. Not to mention the shareholders, who as a rule must sacrifice their capital. And the customers as well, who are dependent on the support of the insolvent company. And not least of all the employees whose jobs are threatened.

As the insolvency administrator of Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH (TAE) it is my task to weigh these various and conflicting interests against each other. In accordance with German insolvency law I am first and foremost committed to the interests of the creditors. At the same time, the competent legislators place a further emphasis on rescuing the company and the attendant jobs.

As far as the position of the company’s founder is concerned, there are some who are of the opinion that Mr. Thielert should no longer appear here in public because of the criminal accusations that have been levied against him. In this regard I would like to note that we are still in the stage of the provisional insolvency proceedings and that Mr. Thielert is still the managing director. He also continues to be the personal holder of permits under aviation law, such as those for the company’s manufacturing and maintenance operations. The German Federal Office of Aviation, with which talks have taken place, currently sees no reason to demand any changes in personnel under Supervisory Board provisions. Insofar Mr. Thielert continues to be responsible for the tasks associated with the aforementioned permits.

As far as my own person is concerned, in my office as the provisional insolvency administrator I am a neutral administrator of the office as appointed by the court. Management of the company in the person of Mr. Thielert requires my approval for any and all financial measures. The overall power of administration and disposal over the company passes to the administrator only with final opening of the proceedings that are planned for the end of June 2008. In all other respects the provisional – and the final administrator – is not responsible for any criminal investigations. This is solely the responsibility of the public prosecutor’s office. However, I would like to stress that in accordance with my duties I have offered the investigating authorities my complete cooperation with regard to the criminal accusations against Mr. Thielert and others.

As far as the company’s creditors are concerned, I immediately began intensive discussions following my appointment as the provisional administrator. In the course of insolvency proceedings it is completely normal that relations with banks and suppliers have been disturbed. In this situation it is of central importance to establish new confidence and to win over the relevant creditors for the purpose of rescuing the company. My team and I have largely succeeded in convincing banks and suppliers that it is in their interest that the company continues to operate. The respective banks have indicated their fundamental willingness to make funds available to this end. The suppliers have also been extremely cooperative.

In terms of the customers we are in a difficult situation – particularly with regard to the end customers. German insolvency law does not permit the assumption of warranties or guarantees free of charge for products and services supplied prior to the declaration of insolvency. At present we would not even be in a position to do in economical terms. For this reason we hope that the airplane manufacturers will step into the breach here. In the European legal realm this represents a valid obligation in any case. Of course the full warranty applies for any spare parts and engines supplied after the insolvency petition within the scope of the company's General Standard Terms and Conditions (but not the Terms of Guarantee of the Limited Pro Rata Manufacturer's Guarantee).

As we already announced yesterday, Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH has resumed the delivery of spare parts and engines to its customers. However, in accordance with German insolvency law we are forced to demand payment in advance. The same provision applies also to maintenance work. At the present these measures are indispensable for maintening the company’s business operations.

I do not want to kid you about anything: When a company is restructured, customers and creditors sometimes have to make some painful compromises. And I naturally understand that the fact that we have to demand higher prices than in the past is not easy for the customers. The advance payment system, however, is fair and transparent and is based on the mandatory principle of German insolvency law that all customers and creditors are treated equally.

The goal is to secure production at Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH in the short term. This, in turn, will encourage potential investors and make an important contribution towards saving both the company and jobs in the long term. In the final analysis, this is the only way to guarantee that Centurion engines and spare parts will remain available in the future as well. And that is what counts.

Thielert engines and spare parts will be supplied reliably against payment. Customers who pay in advance need not worry that the parts ordered will not be delivered: each order is checked to make sure that the part ordered is in stock or can be produced. And this is possible in the vast majority of cases. It is not until after this information has been confirmed that the customer will be asked to make the payment in advance, after which the part will be supplied as fast as possible. As the insolvency administrator, I guarantee that every customer who pays in advance will also receive the part ordered.

The current disconcertion on the part of the customers is attributable to a disinformation campaign initiated by the airplane manufacturer Diamond Aircraft. In the past few days Diamond repeatedly let it be said that I was not very cooperative in negotiations and did not seem very interested in securing the TAE business in the long term.

This argumentation is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. In actual fact, Diamond offered to buy a large number of engines and spare parts – but at a price considerably lower than the price that would be charged to the end customer. That’s how Diamond tried to negotiate special conditions. Diamond has not yet directly responded to our offer dating from May 13, 2008, in which ninety percent of the required spare parts available would be delivered to Diamond. Now that more than one week has passed, we will release the parts for the market.

And the demand is still high: since the beginning of the insolvency proceedings, many binding spare parts orders have been confirmed and have either already been delivered or will be delivered in the near future. The customers whom we have supplied were all relieved that the necessary parts are in stock and that they were delivered accordingly.

We also submitted a far-reaching proposal to Diamond Aircraft for the supply of new engines for the production of Diamond airplanes. This offer – which we continue to stand by – provides for immediate resumption of deliveries of Thielert engines on a large scale. Thus Diamond would be able to resume its own production again within only a few days.

Instead Diamond has been trying – against all better judgment and making untrue statements without exception – to make customers feel massively insecure and to put pressure on me by appealing to the public. This was combined with personal attacks against me that clearly constitute a breach of propriety. Thus Diamond is playing poker here at the expense of its own customers.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would also like to inform you about the situation of the more than three hundred TAE staff at the company’s three business locations in Lichtenstein (Saxony), Altenburg (Thuringia) and Hamburg. Through preliminary financing as compensation for lost wages due to the insolvency I succeeded in securing wage payments to the company’s staff for a period of three months. Thus the employees have already received their outstanding April salaries, and the salary payments for the months of May and June will likewise be effected. My goal is to secure as many jobs as possible, if not all of them.

To state it once again in all clarity – because of its technology Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH is an internationally renowned company that, despite the current crisis, holds a leading position in the design and construction of aircraft engines. Moreover, the company represents an integral component of an international output chain. Insofar I see good chances to save the company.

There has already been a large number of primarily strategic investors who have voiced interest in purchasing Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH. Talks with prospective investors are to begin in June. All of the investors who come into question will then be able to inspect the company’s books. Experience has shown that such negotiations may take several months. Unfortunately, I cannot provide further data in consideration of the ongoing process. Therefore, I would like to ask for your understanding in this regard.

Now, before I give the floor to Mr. Thielert, I would like to personally introduce you to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Günter Kappler. In the press kit you will find the press release which we dispatched last week marking the beginning of Prof. Kappler’s work with the company. Prof. Kappler is one of the world’s most well-known engine experts and in the upcoming months he will provide support to Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH in its bid to continue its operative business. In particular, he will be a competent partner for prospective investors at the forthcoming investor talks. I am extraordinarily pleased that I was able to recruit him for our team.

Thank you very much!

- The spoken word is authoritative -


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