Canadian manufacturer Bombardier announced Tuesday the sale of its CRJ Series regional jet program to Japan”s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for USD 550 million, effectively exiting the commercial passenger aircraft sector.
The deal with Mitsubishi, which has been seeking to break into aviation, comes after Bombardier recently sold a majority stake in its new medium-range C Series jetliners to Airbus, which has been renamed A220, and its Q Series turboprop line to a Canadian investment fund.
The sale of the 75- to 100-seat CRJ line — along with its service and support networks in Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto; Bridgeport, West Virginia; and Tucson, Arizona — is expected to close by the end of 2020.
In a statement, Bombardier said Mitsubishi will also assume liabilities totalling USD 200 million, and take over all maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing and sales activities for the aircrafts.
Mitsubishi president Seiji Izumisawa said the CRJ will compliment the development and production of its SpaceJet family of commercial jets as it pursues future growth in this sector.
“This transaction represents one of the most important steps in our strategic journey to build a strong, global aviation capability,” he said.
Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare, meanwhile, said the transaction represents “the completion of Bombardier”s aerospace transformation.” The Canadian company, he said, would now focus on its global rail business and its last remaining aircraft — business jets.
Its CRJ production facility in Mirabel, Quebec will remain with Bombardier, and the Canadian company will continue to supply components and spare parts for the CRJ as well as assemble the current CRJ backlog on behalf of Mitsubishi until the sale is concluded in the second half of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals.