Bombardier ‘on brink of sale’ to Spirt AeroSystems

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The company employs about 3,600 people in Northern Ireland

Bombardier’s Northern Ireland operation is on the brink of being sold to a US company, the news agency Reuters reports.

The Canadian firm put the factories up for sale in May as part of a reorganisation of its business.

The aircraft manufacturer employs 3,600 people in Northern Ireland.

Reuters say that US Spirt AeroSystems is on the brink of doing a deal and that an announcement could come later today.

Neither company has commented on the suggested deal.

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Media captionThe history of Bombardier in Northern Ireland

A bigger position in the supply chain?

Analysis: John Campbell, Economics and Business editor, BBC News NI

Bombardier has been selling off its commercial aerospace assets to focus on trains and business jets: This would be the final part of that.

Spirit is based in Wichita, Kansas, and was originally set up as a spin-out of aerospace company Boeing.

Boeing is still its biggest customer but part of Spirit’s strategic plan is to lessen its dependence on Boeing.

Earlier this year, Spirit said it wanted to supply more to Airbus, increase its fabrication facilities and to get more military work.

If a deal was done with Bombardier, it would tick two of those boxes and give them a much bigger position in the Airbus supply chain.

Bombardier, which is based in Montreal, has more than 68,000 employees in 28 countries.

It employs about 3,600 people across several locations in Northern Ireland – east Belfast, Newtownabbey, Dunmurry and Newtownards.

The Belfast factory builds wings for Airbus and is the largest hi-tech manufacturer in Northern Ireland.

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