After declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January and closing its doors after nearly 65 years in business, Enstrom Helicopter Corporation was acquired.
Chuck Surack, the founder of Indiana-based Surack Enterprises, bought Enstrom to rebuild the Enstrom brand, or as Surack Enterprises describes it, “one of the leading manufacturers of American-made helicopters as it once was “.
Surack’s capital for the purchase comes from his company Sweetwater Sound, the largest online retailer of professional musical instruments and audio equipment. Since its inception, Surack has grown Sweetwater into a $1.5 billion business.
“I am thrilled to have purchased this exceptional company that manufactures helicopters here in the United States and employs workers right here in the Midwest,” Surack said in a statement.
Enstrom Chairman and CEO Matt Francour also welcomed the deal, especially after other funding failed.
“Earlier this year, it looked like MidTex Aviation would step in and buy Enstrom, but they had unexpected problems securing the financing,” Francour said in a statement. “Chuck was able to step in and save the business, which ended many sleepless nights here for us in Michigan.”
Surack’s affinity for the brand began in 2008, when he became a helicopter pilot, although he purchased a brand new Enstrom 480B before earning his pilot’s certificate.
Enstrom will now be part of Surack Enterprises’ aviation portfolio, which already includes Sweet Aviation, a company offering charter flights, flight training and aircraft leasing. There’s also Sweet Helicopters, the rotorcraft component of Sweet Aviation, which is the official helicopter service provider for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Finally, there’s Aviation Specialty Insurance, which specializes in insurance for things like drones and light aircraft, as well as flight schools and businesses.
Surack’s priority will be to support owner-pilots who need Enstrom helicopter parts, while the company looks to start building more helicopters and bringing updated versions to market.