Airbus’s framework agreement with Spirit AeroSystems shows that the aircraft manufacturer might yet acquire Scottish or Malaysian operations of Spirit if a third-party buyer does not emerge.

Both Sprit’s Glasgow Prestwick division and its Subang airport arm in western Kuala Lumpur supply components for Airbus programmes.

Neither has been included in the divestment scheme unveiled as part of Boeing’s $8.3 billion acquisition of Spirit, through which Airbus will take over A350 and A220 work in North Carolina, France, Northern Ireland, and Morocco.

But a term sheet detailing Airbus’s provisional agreement, which has been labelled ‘Project Sparrow’, provides further insight into the yet-to-be-finalised deal.

It states, within its definition ‘transaction perimeter’, that Spirit shall attempt to sell the Airbus activities at Prestwick and the assets of its operation in Subang.

Spirit Prestwick-g-Google Maps

Source: Google Maps

Spirit’s Scottish arm is located at Glasgow Prestwick airport

If the Subang assets are not acquired by a third party, it says, Airbus and Spirit will negotiate and implement an “alternative arrangement”, under which the assets and liabilities will be transferred to Spirit and Airbus.

The term sheet also says Airbus will acquire contracts and assets of the Prestwick operation unless the business is taken over by a third party.

Airbus is paying a symbolic $1 sum for the core activities, and will receive a $559 million payment from Spirit, but this figure could be revised downwards if the Prestwick business, or other interests, are included.

Boeing accounted for 64% of Spirit’s revenues last year while Airbus, its second-largest customer, made up 19%.