Belfast Bombardier Spirit.jpg

Spirit Boosts Aftermarket Reach With Bombardier Aerostructures Buyout

Spirit Aerosystems reached an agreement to buy the Canadian aircraft maker’s aerostructures business last week for more than $1 billion.

The sale of Bombardier’s aerostructures business to U.S. company Spirit Aerosystems was finalized late last week with some aftermarket services included as part of the $1.1 billion deal. Bombardier has looked to shed its commercial business units to focus on its business aviation and rail interests.

Spirit, which spun off from Boeing in 2005 and specializes in nacelle products and the manufacture of aircraft structures, announced the acquisition on Oct. 31.

It will pay Bombardier $500 million in cash and take on $300 million in pension liabilities and $290 million worth of repayment obligations to the Canadian government.

The deal includes the OEM’s aerostructures activities and aftermarket services operations, which Spirit says will more than double its services' reach globally. This includes its aerostructures manufacturing and aftermarket sites in Belfast, UK, where it produces wings for the Airbus A220, formerly known as the CSeries, along with components for the A320neo and Bombardier regional and business jets.

Also included is another manufacturing and aftermarket services site in Casablanca, Morocco, along with a U.S.-based aerostructures repair facility in Dallas. Bombardier put the locations up for sale in May of this year. The acquisitions will result in around 4,000 jobs being transferred to Spirit.

Spirit Aerosystems President and CEO Tom Gentile said in a statement that the acquisition is in line with the company’s growth strategy that includes content found on Airbus aircraft, developing a low-cost country footprint and growing the scope of its aftermarket business.

Bombardier has undergone a restructure of its aerospace business in recent years as it looks to offload non-core units. It sold off a majority stake in its CSeries aircraft program to Airbus in October 2017, which subsequently rebranded it as the A220. This was followed by the sale of its Q400 regional aircraft program to Longview Aircraft Company of Canada, which is now under the name De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, for $298 million.

Earlier this year, it changed the name of its aerospace business to Bombardier Aviation, which it says will focus on core capabilities at its Montreal, Canada main base, its manufacturing facility in Mexico and its production site for Global 7500 aircraft wings, acquired in January 2019 from Triumph Group.

Bombardier plans to sell the remaining part of its regional jet program--the CRJ family--to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for around $550 million in the first half of 2020.

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