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Mitsubishi Heavy aiming to buy Bombardier’s small jet biz

  • June 6, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 3:04 a.m.
  • English Press

Nagoya, June 5 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. <7011> is holding talks with Bombardier Inc. on acquiring the small jet business of the major Canadian aircraft maker, it was learned Wednesday.

Mitsubishi Heavy aims to strengthen its aircraft division by taking advantage of Bombardier’s technology and customer base.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy, is currently developing the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the first Japanese-developed small passenger jet.

Subject to the planned acquisition is Bombardier’s operations for the CRJ jet, with 50 to 100 seats. The MRJ is seen having 70 to 90 seats.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Mitsubishi Heavy admitted that it is talking with Bombardier on the matter.

According to U.S. media, the negotiations between the two firms may be wrapped up by the time the International Paris Air Show starts on June 17.

In a separate statement on Wednesday, Bombardier also confirmed that the two companies are in negotiations. “Bombardier believes it is prudent to advise stakeholders that it is in discussions with Mitsubishi Heavy” with respect to the CRJ business, the statement noted.

Before any agreement can be reached, further review and analysis by Bombardier and approval by its board of directors are required, and Mitsubishi Heavy needs to complete its own analysis and approval process, the statement said.

At the same time, Bombardier said, “There can be no assurance that any such discussions will ultimately lead to an agreement.”

Mitsubishi Aircraft initially planned to make the first delivery of the MRJ in 2013, but has postponed the schedule five times, due chiefly to design changes.

The company now plans to deliver the first MRJ jets, to All Nippon Airways, in mid-2020.

Orders for the MRJ, including provisional contracts, have totaled 407 units.

The smaller jet market had been dominated by Bombardier and Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer SA.

But Bombardier effectively sold its operations for jets with 100 to 150 seats to European aircraft giant Airbus in July last year, after facing a business slump due to heavy development costs.

Embraer plans to sell its small passenger jet division to Boeing Co. of the United States.

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