Uncertainty rises around sale of Bombardier plants to Spirit

A Bombardier plant is seen in Montreal on Friday, June 5, 2020. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Uncertainty continues to mount around the US$500-million sale of Bombardier Inc.’s aerostructures business to Spirit AeroSystems, as the Kansas-based company warns that a failed transaction could pave the way for a legal dispute with the Quebec plane maker.

Spirit filed documents with U.S. regulatory authorities Tuesday confirming that the deal may not close by the end date of Oct. 31, which its says could prompt litigation from Bombardier.

The filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission comes one week after Spirit submitted forms stating the agreement will automatically terminate if conditions, which include no major adverse changes to the business, are not satisfied before November.

READ MORE: Bombardier aerostructures sale comes into question, dragging shares to new low

Bombardier spokesman Olivier Marcil says the two companies are still working to meet the closing conditions and complete the transaction, and that “premature conclusions” should not be drawn.

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The half-billion-dollar sale of Bombardier plants that produce fuselage and wing components in Belfast and Morocco forms a key part of its shift from a commercial plane-and-train maker to a pure-play manufacturer of private jets.

The deal is also critical to buoying the Montreal-based company’s balance sheet, which is currently weighed down by more than US$9 billion in debt.

Bombardier shares fell by two cents or four per cent to 33 cents in mid-afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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