Rolls-Royce forms new partnership with P&W, exits IAE

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Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney (P&W) have unveiled plans to form a new joint venture for the development of new engines powering future mid-size aircraft in the 120-130-seat segment.

Outlining their plans Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney stated that the new joint venture aims to focus on high-bypass ratio geared turbofan technology.

"In addition the venture will collaborate on future studies for next generation propulsion systems, including advanced geared engines, open rotor technology and other advanced configurations," the companies explained in a formal statement.

Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and their partners in the International Aero Engines (IAE) consortium, MTU and Japanese Aero Engines, failed to reach an agreement for an engine offering on the Airbus A320neo family, resulting in P&W striking out on its own to offer its PW1100G on the re-engined aircraft.

Now under the new collaboration, Rolls-Royce has agreed to "make a modest financial investment" in the PW1100G engine.

Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney also agreed to restructure IAE, with Rolls-Royce agreeing to sell its equity stake in the engine company to P&W for $1.5 billion. Additionally, Rolls-Royce will receive an agreed payment for each hour flown of the current installed fleet of IAE V2500 powerplants for 15 years after completion of the transaction. Currently, there are roughly 4,500 V2500s in service.

P&W said it intends to discuss a possible offer of a portion of Rolls-Royce's IAE shares to MTU and Japan Aero Engines.