Mitsubishi Heavy Industries agreed to buy the Bombardier regional aircraft program for 550 million dollars, expanding its offensive in the commercial aircraft segment.
The Japanese automaker will acquire the maintenance, support, marketing and sales operations of the Canadair Regional Jet family through the cash agreement, according to a statement released Tuesday by the companies. Mitsubishi also assumes a passive close to 200 million dollars and keeps the interest of Bombardier in a program of securitization of regional aircraft, valued at around 180 million dollars.
While Bombardier will reduce production of the CRJ line of short-haul aircraft over the next year and a half, the acquisition gives Mitsubishi a greater global presence that encompasses engineering, development and support functions. That will strengthen the company’s ability to market its new regional aircraft SpaceJet, the first passenger aircraft built in Japan since the 1960s.
For Bombardier, the transaction essentially ends a three-decade presence in the commercial aircraft market, at a time when it turns its focus to the manufacture of business aircraft and passenger trains. Last year, the Canadian company handed control of its C Series line to Airbus, which changed the name to A220.
The agreement, which is expected to close in the first half of next year, “represents the completion of Bombardier’s aerospace transformation,” said its chief executive, Alain Bellemare, in the statement.