Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) of Japan is to purchase the regional jet business of Canadian manufacturer Bombardier. The price is agreed as US $550 million in cash and the assumption of liabilities worth approximately $200 million.
MHI will acquire the maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing, and sales activities for the CRJ Series aircraft, including the related services and support network located in Montréal, Québec, and Toronto, Ontario, and its service centers located in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Tucson, Arizona, as well as the type certificates.
In recent years Bombardier has been divesting itself of its commercial and specialised aviation programmes to refocus on business aviation. The C-Series airliner was sold to Airbus, the CL-415 firebomber and derivatives to Longview Aviation Capital and rights to the Twin Otter and other former deHavilland Canada types to Viking Aircraft (also part of the Longview Group). A new entity, deHavilland Aircraft of Canada, was established by Longview in May this year to produce the DHC-8 Q400 regional turboprop.
Acquisition of the CRJ is in step with MHI’s strategy of expanding its aircraft business globally, with a mid-term focus on North America, the company says. Bombardier will continue to supply components and spare parts and will assemble the current CRJ backlog on behalf of MHI. CRJ production is expected to conclude in the second half of 2020, following the delivery of the current backlog of aircraft
Seiji Izumisawa, President & CEO of MHI says: “The CRJ program has been supported by tremendously talented individuals. In combination with our existing infrastructure and resources in Japan, Canada and elsewhere, we are confident that this represents one effective strategy that will contribute to the future success of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet family. MHI has a decades-long history in Canada, and I hope this transaction will result in the expansion of our presence in the country, and will represent a significant step in our growth strategy.”
“We are very pleased to announce this agreement, which represents the completion of Bombardier’s aerospace transformation,” said Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. “We are confident that MHI’s acquisition of the program is the best solution for airline customers, employees and shareholders. We are committed to ensuring a smooth and orderly transition.”