Airbus not planning to buy out Bombardier’s CSeries program, CEO says

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Airbus has no plans to buy out minority CSeries partners Bombardier and the Quebec government, Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said Friday.

READ MORE: Airbus has the option of buying Bombardier’s entire C-Series. What then?

According to terms of the deal announced Monday, Airbus had the option to buy out Bombardier in about seven years, and the Quebec government in 2023.

Following a joint appearance with Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare at the Montreal Board of Trade, Enders said that’s not the European giant’s plan.

“We have no intention to buy out the others because we know they are great partners and if they want to stay on the journey going forward they are very welcome to that,” he told reporters.

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He said the priority is to close the deal next year that gives Airbus majority control, build a second assembly line in Alabama, sell more aircraft and make the program a huge success.

Earlier, Enders told business leaders that he expects Boeing won’t give up easily after launching a trade action with the U.S. government against the CSeries that has resulted in 300 per cent preliminary duties on imports.

“The B guys will certainly throw everything into our way they can figure so the coming months might be a little bit rough and tough but we’ve seen that before,” he said.

Ultimately he said the CSeries will weather the challenge and prevail.

READ MORE: Shares of Bombardier up more than 20% after CSeries deal with Airbus

Enders added that Canadians have nothing to fear from Airbus, saying the company will add to Montreal’s large aerospace cluster and provide more opportunities for local suppliers, universities and aerospace training schools.

“We’re not taking anything away here,” he said, adding that he knows there are concerns by some members of the public.

“If anything we will add, we will add to Canada, we will add to the success of the Canadian aerospace industry, Bombardier and suppliers and certainly we will add to the world-wide success of Airbus.”

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Airbus has already sent lobbyists to Washington to show how the partnership will create U.S. jobs that President Donald Trump has advocated.

Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare added that Airbus’ support will assuage customers who were worried about the future of the CSeries.

He says the result will be many more sales that will benefit Bombardier’s Mirabel production facility even though a second assembly line will be built in Alabama.

Bellemare reacted forcefully to questions about Airbus not paying any cash for the transaction.

“The point is it’s not coming from dollars, it’s coming from the value that they bring to the program and that is the reason why the value of this program will more than double,” he told reporters.

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