Bombardier has announced a definitive agreement to sell its aerostructures business to Spirit AeroSystems Holding Inc (Spirit), in line with its decision to focus on its ‘two strong growth pillars’ — trains and business aircraft.
Spirit will acquire Bombardier’s aerostructures activities and aftermarket services operations in Belfast (UK) and Casablanca (Morocco), along with its aerostructures maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Dallas (USA) — for a ‘cash consideration’ of $500 million and the assumption of liabilities with a total ‘carrying value’ of more than $700 million (this includes government refundable advances and pension obligations).
Following the transaction, Spirit will continue to supply structural aircraft components and spare parts to support the production and in-service fleet of Bombardier Aviation’s Learjet, Challenger and Global families of aircraft.
The 2019 revenues for these activities are expected to be about $1.0 billion.
The transaction follows the formation of Bombardier Aviation earlier this year and streamlines Bombardier’s aerostructures footprint to focus on its core capabilities in Montreal, Mexico and its Global 7500 wing operations in Texas.
The transaction, which ‘further strengthens Bombardier’s liquidity as it moves toward the deleveraging phase of the
turnround’, is expected to close in the first half of 2020 and remains subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Alain Bellemare, president and CEO of Bombardier Inc, said: “This transaction represents another strategic milestone in the reshaping of our portfolio to focus on our strong business aircraft and rail franchises.
"We are confident that Spirit’s acquisition of these aerostructures assets is the best outcome for customers, employees and shareholders, and we are committed to ensuring a smooth and orderly transition.”
The announcement was warmly received by trade organisation ADS, which represents over 1,000 companies in the aerospace and defence industries.
Chief executive Paul Everitt said (www.bombardier.com
): “The sale of Bombardier’s Northern Ireland facilities is welcome news for the highly skilled workforce in Belfast, the successful aerospace sector in Northern Ireland and the whole UK aerospace industry.
"This deal sees Spirit AeroSystems significantly expand its operations in the UK, while also opening up opportunities for the Belfast facility to grow its business in the USA and elsewhere.”