Bom­bardier, Chi­nese plane maker in talks

The Daily Observer - - BUSINESS - ALICJA SIEKIERSKA

Bom­bardier has re­port­edly held talks with the Com­mer­cial Air­craft Cor­po­ra­tion of China Ltd. (Co­mac) about a po­ten­tial in­vest­ment in the Mon­treal-based com­pany’s com­mer­cial aero­space di­vi­sion. Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the

Fi­nan­cial Times, sources said Co­mac — China’s state-owned aero­space man­u­fac­turer — is work­ing with at least one bank on a deal that could in­volve an in­vest­ment in Bom­bardier’s com­mer­cial aero­space di­vi­sion, or a stake in its CSeries pro­gram.

A spokesper­son for Bom­bardier said the com­pany would not com­ment on mar­ket ru­mours or spec­u­la­tion.

Bom­bardier re­ceived $1 bil­lion from the Que­bec gov­ern­ment for its CSeries pro­gram, and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment pro­vided a $372.5 mil­lion loan to­wards devel­op­ment of its Global 7000 busi­ness air­craft pro­gram, as well as the CSeries pro­gram.

Ear­lier this month, Co­mac’s C919 com­pleted its maiden flight in Shang­hai. The air­craft is the first in­de­pen­dently de­vel­oped by China.

“This is not only a ma­jor his­toric break­through in China’s avi­a­tion in­dus­try, but also a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment made by China in deeply im­ple­ment­ing the strat­egy of driv­ing devel­op­ment by in­no­va­tion and com­pre­hen­sively pro­mot­ing the struc­tural re­form of the sup­ply said,” Co­mac said of the maiden flight in a news re­lease.

Bom­bardier has pre­vi­ously en­gaged in part­ner­ships with the Chi­nese man­u­fac­turer.

In 2012, Bom­bardier an­nounced it planned on strength­en­ing its strate­gic part­ner­ship with the com­pany with an agree­ment that in­volved col­lab­o­ra­tion on the devel­op­ment and cus­tomer op­er­at­ing ef­fi­cien­cies of the C919 and Bom­bardier’s CSeries.

Bom­bardier’s CSeries pro­gram is cur­rently at the cen­tre of what could be a ma­jor trade dis­pute be­tween Canada and the U.S.

Last month, Amer­i­can aero­space gi­ant Boe­ing filed a pe­ti­tion to the U.S. De­part­ment of Com­merce seek­ing an anti-dump­ing, coun­ter­vail­ing duty or­der against the sale of Bom­bardier’s CSeries air­craft. Boe­ing has al­leged that Bom­bardier sold the jets to Delta at an “ab­surdly low” price, well be­low the cost of man­u­fac­tur­ing the jet.

GETTY IM­AGES FILES

China’s home-grown C919 pas­sen­ger jet lands at Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port on its maiden flight on May 5. Bom­bardier is in in­vest­ment talks with Com­mer­cial Air­craft Cor­po­ra­tion of China Ltd.

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