(File photo) The Hawker Beechcraft headquarters.

Washington - American industrial conglomerate Textron announced it has agreed to pay $1.4 billion to purchase US business and defence plane builder Beechcraft in a cash deal.

The transaction is due to be finalised in the first half of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions, the companies said.

Beechcraft, previously known as Hawker Beechcraft, exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just 10 months ago to restructure its debt while being shielded from creditors and solving its financing problems.

After purchasing all outstanding equity interests in Beech Holdings - Beechcraft's parent company - Textron, which produces Cessna planes and Bell helicopters, will namely buy up patents for the Hawker 4000 business jet.

The business plane sector is slowly recovering from the 2008 world economic crisis that hit it particularly hard.

The market collapsed nearly 30 percent between 2008 and 2012 and still struggles to return to the strong results seen in 2005-2008.

In 2012, the number of private jet deliveries dropped 48.9 percent (672 aircraft) compared to a 2008 peak of 1,315 aircraft. - Sapa-AFP