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Spirit AeroSystems to acquire Asco Industries

Spirit AeroSystems has agreed to acquire SRIF, the parent company of family-owned Belgian aerostructure specialist Asco Industries, for a cash sum of $650 million.

The US aerostructures manufacturer says the transaction will be financed through debt and be completed during the second half of 2018.

Asco designs and manufactures wing components – especially slat and flap equipment – and other structures and assemblies. The company supplies equipment for the Airbus A320, A350 and A380, Boeing 737 and 787, Bombardier CSeries, and Embraer E2 E-Jets, and for military programmes including the Airbus Defence & Space A400M, Embraer KC-390 and Lockheed Martin F-35.

Some 1,400 staff members are employed across Asco's Zaventem headquarters – near Brussels – and manufacturing facilities in Canada, Germany and the USA.

This year, the manufacturer is set to generate $400 million in revenue, Spirit says.

Tom Gentile, Spirit's chief executive, states that Asco is a "compelling fit" and "aligns extremely well" with the US supplier’s strategic priorities. "It expands our Airbus content on A320 and A350 wings, adds new defence content on the F-35, and broadens our commercial capabilities to help grow our fabrication business," he adds.

Spirit says Asco has "highly automated, state-of-the-art facilities with available capacity to support rate increases and future growth". Furthermore, the Belgian manufacturer has "well-established customer relationships in its markets with high-value single-source products", Spirit adds.

Asco chief executive Christian Boas, who will stay with the business under the deal, describes the transaction as an "excellent outcome" for the European supplier, "as we become part of a larger, global enterprise with greater combined expertise and resources".

Noting that airframers have been "pushing for a consolidation of the highly fragmented aerostructures supply base" over the last decade, Asco says the tie-up will create "new and lasting opportunities for growth and will allow our talented people to expand the business".

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

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