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Boeing to buy Spirit AeroSystems as Airbus acquires key units

Major aerospace manufacturers realign supply chains in strategic industry shake-up

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Fuselage production for the Boeing 737 series at Spirit AeroSystems. (Photo: Spirit AeroSystems)

In a significant shake-up of the aerospace industry, Boeing has announced plans to acquire Spirit AeroSystems in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $4.7 billion, while Airbus is set to purchase specific Spirit operations related to its aircraft programs.

Boeing’s acquisition of Spirit, announced on July 1, 2024, is valued at $37.25 per share, with a total transaction value of about $8.3 billion including Spirit’s net debt.

According to the American planemaker, the deal aims to improve quality and safety for Boeing Commercial Airplanes by reintegrating Spirit’s operations.

We believe this deal is in the best interest of the flying public, our airline customers, the employees of Spirit and Boeing, our shareholders and the country more broadly.

Dave Calhoun, Boeing Chief Executive Officer

“By reintegrating Spirit, we can fully align our commercial production systems, including our Safety and Quality Management Systems, and our workforce to the same priorities, incentives and outcomes – centered on safety and quality,” Calhoun added.

Concurrently, Airbus has entered into a binding term sheet agreement with Spirit AeroSystems to acquire major activities related to Airbus aircraft production. This includes A350 fuselage sections in the U.S. and France, A220 wings and mid-fuselage production in Northern Ireland and Morocco, and A220 pylons in Kansas.

Airbus stated that the agreement aims to “ensure stability of supply for its commercial aircraft programmes through a more sustainable way forward.”

The European aerospace giant will be compensated $559 million from Spirit AeroSystems for the acquisition, which has a nominal consideration of $1.00, subject to adjustments.

As part of the broader restructuring, Spirit is also proposing to sell certain operations in Belfast (non-Airbus operations), Prestwick, and Subang.

The Boeing-Spirit merger is expected to close by mid-2025, subject to regulatory approvals, Spirit shareholder approval, and the sale of Spirit operations related to Airbus commercial work packages.

Spirit, which manufactures fuselages for the 737 production line, was formed when Boeing sold its Wichita division to Onex Corporation in 2005.

Early this year, talks of acquiring the company emerged due to quality control concerns following the mid-air door plug blowout on an Alaska Airlines-operated Boeing 737 MAX 9 flight.

Written by
Dirk Andrei Salcedo

An aviation enthusiast turned creator of the top aviation news portal in the Philippines, Dirk has a deep passion for everything that flies. When he's not keeping his finger on the pulse of the industry, he also volunteers with a major humanitarian organization, impacting people on the ground and in the sky.

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