Aerospace company to sell inventory at auction

Friday, July 19th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BETHANY, Okla. (AP) _ An aerospace company set for closure by the end of the year will liquidate its inventory in one of the largest auctions in Oklahoma history.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. will sell items ranging from cabinets to cranes and scrap metal in a three-day auction Aug. 6-8.

Gulfstream, based in Savannah, Ga., has operated at Wiley Post Airport since 1981, but officials announced in February that the plant would close and lay off all of its remaining 350 employees.

As many as 575 people had worked at Gulfstream, but 200 were let go in October. Only a handful remain at the plant.

Employees at the plant did sheet metal work and vertical tail assembly work for the Gulfstream IV-SP, the company's most popular jet. Those operations were moved to other, more modern facilities, officials said.

A Gulfstream spokeswoman said the company had no comment on the auction or the layoffs.

Gulfstream's lease from the Airport Trust Authority runs through July 2007. Luther Trent, Oklahoma City director of airports, said the company has indicated it will honor its lease.

``We hate to see it because Gulfstream has been such a great tenant for so long,'' Trent said. ``We regret it, but we understand the business reality that caused it to happen.''

No other company have indicated an interest in taking over the lease, he said.

But other companies will take over the equipment and inventory.

Dakil Auctioneers Inc. will handle the auction. Louis M. Dakil, owner of the auction house, said companies like Boeing and other major airline manufacturers have contacted the auctioneer about the inventory.

``This is probably the largest auction of manufacturing equipment in Oklahoma and one of the largest auctions ever held in the state,'' Dakil said.

Office furniture, shop equipment and storage devices will be among the items available on the first day of the auction. More than $1 million of raw materials, including aluminum, steel and nylon.