Boeing in Talks to Acquire Spirit AeroSystems



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After a string of quality lapses and production snarls, Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems are considering a possible reunion that they believe would “strengthen aviation safety” and “improve quality.”

Boeing confirmed Friday that it is in talks to potentially buy Spirit AeroSystems, the troubled aircraft supplier. 

“We believe that the reintegration of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems’ manufacturing operations would further strengthen aviation safety, improve quality and serve the interests of our customers, employees, and shareholders,” Boeing said in a statement. 

Spirit AeroSystems was formed in 2005 when Boeing sold off some of its Wichita, Kansas factories. Boeing is still by far Spirit’s biggest customer, accounting for nearly two-thirds of its orders. 

Boeing did not offer assurances that the preliminary talks with Spirit would lead to an agreement. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Friday that Spirit hired bankers to explore its strategic options and was in preliminary talks with Boeing. 

Spirit is also considering selling off its operations in Ireland that manufacture parts for Airbus, according to The Journal. 

Spirit’s shares jumped 15% following The Wall Street Journal report. Boeing’s dipped by nearly 2%.

Spirit in the Spotlight

Like Boeing, the aircraft supplier has come under scrutiny for its manufacturing processes — it supplies fuselages for Boeing’s 737 line and other airframe parts. Spirit built the fuselage that was involved in the Alaska Airlines blowout incident on January 5.

A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board from February report found there were four missing bolts on the panel of Alaska’s 737 Max 9 fuselage that caused the blowout. The fuselage that Spirit delivered to Boeing had defects, according to the report. 

However, the report appeared to point fingers at Boeing for the quality lapse, since Boeing would have been required to open and remove the bolts of the panel to fix any defects on the fuselage. 

For 2023, Spirit reported revenues of more than $6 billion and $633 million in losses. It received $100 million from Boeing last year to help stabilize its supply chain issues.

Similar to Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems also didn’t release any financial targets for 2024, saying it needed more information from Boeing on the issues with the Max 9. 

Spirit also brought on a long-time Boeing executive last year to serve as its CEO. 



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