Gov. Paul LePage said he is still hopeful that Kesterel Aircraft will move forward with a manufacturing plant in Brunswick.

LePage issued a statement outlining all of the assistance offered by the state and private agencies to build the manufacturing plant at Brunswick Landing. He said he discussed the issue with the company personally earlier this week and is waiting for more financial information before finalizing the deal.

“We are ready to make this happen and have been for many months,”  LePage said in the statement.

The aircraft maker announced in 2010 that it would move to Brunswick Landing, becoming the highest-profile business at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. The company has been expected to employ as many as 600 workers building small turboprop planes.

Alan Klapmeier, Kestrel’s chief executive officer and chairman, said Thursday that some Maine officials failed to follow through on a financing plan that he thought was in place. He also said he had received a better offer from officials in Superior, Wis., and might locate the plant there.

In his news release, LePage appeared to blame mishaps in the deal on Coastal Enterprises Inc. — a private, nonprofit community development and finance company — but said the state had rectified the situation.


“The State of Maine has come back to the table with additional assistance when Kestrel’s expectations of financing from Coastal Enterprises, Inc. were not met,” LePage said.

Charlie Spies, chief executive officer of Costal Enterprises Inc. Capital Management, a subsidary of CEI, said he was baffled by governor’s statement.

Coastal Enterprises Inc. offered part of the financing for the development in Brunswick, putting together an investment package with federal New Market tax credits to steer about $5 million in cash toward Kestrel.

Spies said Coastal Enterprises never indicated it would provide more. He also said a letter of intent signed in the fall of 2010 that outlined the investment package never indicated a larger amount.

George Gervais, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, said he hasn’t given up on the Kestrel deal, either. “We all remain at the table waiting for Kestrel to join us and we’ll continue to help Kestrel seek solutions to their challenges. We all want a success story in Maine,” Gervais said in the governor’s news release.

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