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Article from BTNews 4 NOVEMBER 2019

Belfast gets aviation boost

What was once Short Brothers, the world’s first aviation production company, is about to have a new owner.

Spirit Aero is to buy Bombardier’s aviation business centred in Belfast. The Kansas-based company claims to be the world’s largest first-tier aerostructures manufacturer and is a supplier to both Boeing (B737 fuselage) and Airbus (major A350 components). 

The deal is structured as a US$500m cash consideration, plus assumption of liabilities of about $600m, Spirit said in a statement. The Canadian company is refocusing on its business aviation and trains after disposing of its C Series line, now renamed the A220, to Airbus. 

“This transaction represents another strategic milestone in the reshaping of our portfolio to focus on our strong business aircraft and rail franchises,” Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said.

Spirit CEO Tom Gentile added: “The Bombardier operations bring world-class engineering expertise to Spirit and add to a strong track record of innovation, especially in advanced composites.

“Belfast has developed an impressive position in business jet fuselage production, in addition to the world-acclaimed fully integrated A220 composite wing. This acquisition is in line with our growth strategy of increasing Airbus content, developing low-cost country footprint and growing our aftermarket business.”

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020.



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