Spirit AeroSystems has unveiled plans to acquire BAE Systems Aerostructures for £80 million ($142 million), in a move that gives the Wichita, Kansas-based Boeing Commercial Airplanes spin-off involvement in Airbus subcontracts.

Similar to Spirit AeroSystems’ business in Tulsa, Oklahoma, BAE Systems commercial aircraft aerostructures activity produces structural components, chiefly on wings. The business supplies Airbus, Boeing and Raytheon and had sales of £207m with profits of £7.4m in 2005.

However the BAE unit, with UK operations in Prestwick, outside Glasgow and Samlesbury near Manchester earns more than 80% of its revenue from Airbus aircraft, including the A320 family, A330 and A340, with the remainder coming from Boeing 767, 777 and Raytheon Hawker 800XP work.

Under yesterday's deal, BAE Systems’ aerostructures business will be rebranded as Spirit AeroSystems (Europe). The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of this year, subject to regulatory approval.

“Spirit sees this as an opportunity to diversify its revenue base and accelerate our growth as a world leader in aerostructures and systems manufacturing,” says Spririt chief operating officer Ron Brunton in a statement.

Chief executive Jeff Turner adds: “We are excited about the prospects that this acquisition opens up for our new company. We are delighted to add Airbus and Raytheon as new customers of Spirit.”

In December, Flight International reported that Spirit AeroSystems had responded to a set of requests for information issued by Airbus for a range of potential aerostructures work packages.

At that time, fuselage structures and systems business unit vice president and general manager Buck Buchanan conceded that the first reaction from Airbus was cautious, with the aircraft manufacturer’s initial take being that Spirit AeroSystems was too expensive.



Source: Flight International