Airbus is acquiring a majority stake in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), the Bombardier/Investissement Québec entity that manufactures and sells the C Series aircraft.
Airbus and Bombardier have signed a partnership agreement on the C Series aircraft programme. Under the agreement, Airbus will provide procurement, sales and marketing, and customer support expertise to the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), the entity that manufactures and sells the C Series. Airbus is acquiring a 50.01% interest in CSALP. Bombardier and Investissement Québec (IQ) will own approximately 31% and 19%, respectively.
Comments by Airbus officials make it clear that the move is a first step to ultimately acquiring full ownership of the programme.
CSALP’s headquarters and primary assembly line and related functions will remain in Quebec. Airbus ’ global industrial footprint will expand with the Final Assembly Line in Canada and additional C Series production at Airbus’ manufacturing site in Alabama, U.S.
The Alabama production move comes in the midst of a Boeing campaign to block C Series sales in the U.S. The U.S. Commerce Department recently announced huge tariffs on C Series aircraft sold to U.S. airlines on the grounds that the aircraft are unfairly subsidised.
Ranging from 100 to 150 seats, the C Series nicely complements Airbus’ existing single-aisle aircraft portfolio (150-240 seats). The sales, marketing and support networks that Airbus brings into the venture are expected to strengthen and accelerate the C Series’ commercial momentum. Additionally, Airbus’ supply chain expertise is expected to generate significant C Series production cost savings.
The Board of Directors of CSALP will initially consist of seven directors, four of whom will be proposed by Airbus, two of whom will be proposed by Bombardier, and one of whom will be proposed by IQ. Airbus will be entitled to name the Chairman of CSALP.
The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both Airbus and Bombardier, as well as the Cabinet of the Government of Quebec. Completion of the transaction is currently expected for the second half of 2018.