Bombardier Considering Operations Sale

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Canadian aerospace firm Bombardier Inc. is reportedly considering a sale of some operations, including its Q400 turboprop and CRJ regional-jet unit. People familiar with the matter said the company is also seeking investors for its aerospace businesses. The people asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Airbus SE is reportedly among the suitors, with Bombardier also open to partnerships with other aerospace companies. However, the people said Bombardier’s deliberations with potential partners may not lead to any transactions. Bombardier and Airbus held talks on a potential business collaboration in 2015, but those eventually fizzled.

Some analysts believe that the Q400 may have an easier time finding a buyer than the CRJ line. The report comes just a couple weeks after the firm inked its largest-yet Q400 order, with 50 of the aircraft being sold to India’s SpiceJet for up to $1.7 billion. The Q400 has lost market share in recent years to lighter, cheaper turboprops.

Bombardier is having a tough time at the moment. The company is looking to break into the bigger jet market with the C Series. Unfortunately, its C Series jetliner was more than two years behind schedule and about $2 billion over budget when it came to market. The company’s Global 7000 business jet has also been delayed.

The Canadian planemaker is also facing a potentially crippling U.S. tariffs of 300 percent on its marquee jetliner. The U.S. Commerce Department recently imposed the tariffs against the C Series after finding Bombardier sold the plane at less than its fair-market value after receiving government subsidies in Canada.

Rival Boeing had complained Bombardier was dumping its planes in the American market. Bombardier sold at least 75 of the planes to Delta Air Lines Inc. in a deal valued at more than $5 billion based on list prices. Delta Air Lines has refused to pay the tariff, throwing the sale into doubt.

The entire segment of regional aircraft garnered only 119 orders last year, down 50 percent from the prior year. The company got about 57 percent of its revenue from aircraft and aerospace parts last year. When asked for comment about the plans for the company, Bombardier said that it does not comment on market rumors or speculation as a matter of policy.

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