Press-Republican

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February 8, 2013

Laurentian Aerospace seeking funding alternatives

PLATTSBURGH — Laurentian Aerospace Corp. is seeking financing alternatives for the facility long proposed at Plattsburgh International Airport. 

This week, Laurentian Senior Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Edwards updated the Press-Republican on what has happened since his company announced, almost two years ago, that Verdant Capital Group LLC was bankrolling the project.

While that possibility remains open, he said, “to date, Verdant has provided no financing to the company.”

‘NEVER OFF RADAR’

Laurentian first announced plans in June 2006 to build a 273,000-square-foot, two-bay hangar for maintenance, repair and overhaul of wide-body jets in Plattsburgh. The facility billed as providing jobs to between 200 and 300 workers upon completion, with as many as 900 mentioned as possible over the course of the two years that followed.

Financing issues have dogged the project, and local excitement has dimmed over time, but Edwards says it has never been off company radar.

‘NO INTERIM FUNDS’

At the time of a March 1, 2011, press conference, Edwards said, Laurentian had entered into a series of agreements with Verdant.

That company, he said, had agreed to provide all of the equity financing to complete the project.

Verdant was on hand at the news conference to confirm it had provided to Laurentian that day an interim financing package that would allow the company to complete certain engineering work before the formal closing of the financing and the start of construction.

However, the transfer of the interim financing from Verdant to Laurentian that was to have occurred that morning did not take place, Edwards says now.

Then, shortly after that date, Verdant officials indicated there was going to be a delay in their provision of the financing but said they expected to be in a position to complete it in a relatively short period of time.

‘ABSENT CERTAINTY’

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