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Airbus SE agreed to acquire a majority stake in Bombardier Inc.’s C Series jetliner program, breathing new life into a slow-selling plane and opening a new front in the battle with Boeing Co. over global aircraft sales.
Under the terms of the deal, Airbus will acquire a 50.01 percent stake in the single-aisle plane platform, which has left Montreal-based Bombardier drained of cash after a series of cost overruns and delays. The Canadian planemaker will own 31 percent while the province of Quebec, an investor in the C Series, will hold 19 percent. None of the partners will contribute any cash when the deal closes.
“The agreement brings together Airbus’ global reach and scale with Bombardier’s newest, state-of-the-art jet aircraft family,” the companies said in a statement Monday.
The deal remakes the landscape of the aerospace industry by giving new life to the C Series, for which Bombardier hasn’t won a major order in 18 months, and thrusts Airbus into the middle of a bitter trade dispute with Boeing. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration imposed import duties of 300 percent on the Canadian-made plane in recent weeks, following a complaint by the U.S. planemaker.
Airbus will add C Series production at its factory in Alabama to serve U.S. customers, while also expanding its global industrial footprint with the final assembly line in Canada, according to the statement.
©2017 Bloomberg L.P.