Airbus and Bombardier are to become partners on the C Series aircraft programme.
An agreement signed earlier brings together Airbus’ global reach and scale with Bombardier’s newest, state-of-the-art jet aircraft family, positioning both partners to fully unlock the value of the C Series platform and create significant new value for customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders.
Bombardier has faced a series of problems over the plane.
Most recently a trade dispute in the US that imposed a 300 per cent import tariff.
Under the deal, Airbus will provide procurement, sales and marketing, and customer support expertise to the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, the entity that manufactures and sells the C Series.
At closing, Airbus will acquire a 50.01 per cent interest in CSALP.
Bombardier and Investissement Québec will own approximately 31 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.
Airbus will contribute no cash for its majority stake.
CSALP’s headquarters and primary assembly line and related functions will remain in Québec, with the support of Airbus’ global reach and scale.
Airbus’ global industrial footprint will expand with the final assembly line in Canada and additional C Series production at Airbus’ manufacturing site in Alabama, US.
The single aisle market is a key growth driver, representing 70 per cent of the expected global future demand for aircraft.
Ranging from 100 to 150 seats, the C Series is highly complementary to Airbus’ existing single aisle aircraft portfolio, which focuses on the higher end of the single-aisle business (150-240 seats).
“This is a win-win for everybody.
“The C Series, with its state-of-the-art design and great economics, is a great fit with our existing single-aisle aircraft family and rapidly extends our product offering into a fast-growing market sector.
“I have no doubt that our partnership with Bombardier will boost sales and the value of this programme tremendously,” said Airbus chief executive, Tom Enders.
“Not only will this partnership secure the C Series and its industrial operations in Canada, the UK and China, but we also bring new jobs to the US.
“Airbus will benefit from strengthening its product portfolio in the high-volume single-aisle market, offering superior value to our airline customers worldwide.”
The transaction has been approved by the boards of both Airbus and Bombardier, as well as the cabinet of the government of Québec.
The deal remains subject to regulatory approvals, as well as other conditions usual in this type of transaction.
“We are very pleased to welcome Airbus to the C Series programme,” said Alain Bellemare, president, Bombardier.
“Airbus is the perfect partner for us, Québec and Canada.
“Their global scale, strong customer relationships and operational expertise are key ingredients for unleashing the full value of the C Series.
“This partnership should more than double the value of the C Series programme and ensures our remarkable game-changing aircraft realises its full potential.”
There are no guarantees that the transaction will be completed and that the conditions to which it is subject would be met.
Completion of the transaction is currently expected for the second half of 2018.