Boeing and Embraer inched closer to a tie-up in their commercial aircraft efforts this morning. The pair announced a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow them to pursue a joint venture for the Brazilian manufacturer’s 70-100 seat single-aisle jets, assuming the deal is consummated and meets regulatory hurdles. The new partnership will be 80% owned by Boeing and values the Embraer product line at $4.75 billion.
Early reports of the potential deal surfaced in December 2017, shortly after Bombardier agreed to sell its CSeries line to Airbus. In the intervening months the two parties hashed out which portions of the Embraer business line will be included – business aviation is out, as is most of the military portfolio – as well as the pricing and organizational structure. Embraer also formally introduced the E2-190 into service, with Wideroe taking delivery and beginning commercial operations in April 2018.
For all the talk about positioning this partnership as a response to the Airbus/CSeries move there are also reasons to see it as a broader play, one where the CSeries is a small footnote, not a major driver.
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