Boeing Reacquires Spirit AeroSystems in $8.3 Billion Deal

Boeing fuselage production at the Spirit AeroSystems factory.
Photo Credit: Spirit AeroSystems

In a move to strengthen its domestic supply chain, Boeing (BA) announced on July 1, 2024, that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) for $8.3 billion.

The deal, valued at $37.25 per share in Boeing common stock, represents a 30% premium over Spirit’s closing stock price before talks became public.

This reacquisition comes nearly two decades after Boeing spun off Spirit in a cost-cutting measure. The intervening years have seen challenges for both companies, with Boeing facing production issues and regulatory scrutiny following the 737 MAX grounding.

Spirit Aerosystems has also been navigating the complexities of being a major supplier to its former parent company.

Strategic Rationale for the Merger

Analysts believe the merger offers several strategic benefits for both companies. Boeing regains direct control over a critical part of its supply chain, potentially streamlining production and improving efficiency.

This could be particularly important as Boeing ramps up production of the 737 MAX and other commercial aircraft programs.

For Spirit, the deal provides stability and a potential boost in resources. As part of Boeing, Spirit will benefit from Boeing’s engineering expertise and potentially larger production volumes.

Additionally, the premium offered by Boeing represents a significant gain for Spirit shareholders.

Spirit AeroSystems manufacturing production line.
Photo Credit: Spirit AeroSystems

Impact on Stakeholders

The merger is expected to have a significant impact on various stakeholders. Employees at both companies will likely be concerned about potential job security and integration challenges.

Boeing has assured that it is committed to minimizing job losses and working collaboratively with Spirit’s workforce.

Customers of both Boeing and Spirit, including airlines and other aircraft manufacturers, will be watching closely to see how the merger affects production timelines and costs.

Both companies have emphasized their commitment to delivering high-quality products and meeting customer demands.

Regulatory hurdles remain a potential obstacle. The deal will likely face scrutiny from antitrust regulators who may be concerned about the concentration of power within the aerospace industry.

Divestiture of Airbus Assets

To address potential regulatory concerns and ensure a smooth transition, Spirit has also entered into a binding term sheet with Airbus to divest certain assets that support Airbus programs.

This divestiture, expected to close concurrently with the Boeing acquisition, aims to maintain continuity for Airbus production.

About Spirit AeroSystems

Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, the company boasts a global presence with facilities in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Spirit’s core expertise lies in the design and production of critical aircraft components, including:

  • Fuselages: The main body of the aircraft, housing passengers and cargo.
  • Wings: Essential for generating lift and enabling flight.
  • Nacelles: The housings for jet engines, mounted beneath the wings.
  • Pylons: The structures that connect the engines to the wings.

The company leverages both advanced composite and aluminum manufacturing techniques to deliver high-quality, lightweight, and durable aerostructures.

This focus on innovation positions Spirit as a key partner for leading aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus.

Beyond manufacturing, Spirit also offers aftermarket services for commercial and business jets. This includes maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) capabilities, ensuring the continued airworthiness of aircraft throughout their operational lifespan.

Spirit’s story began in 2005 when it spun off from Boeing as a separate entity.

Since then, the company has grown significantly through strategic acquisitions and partnerships, solidifying its position as a major player in the global aerostructure market.

Looking Ahead

The Boeing-Spirit merger is a significant development in the aerospace industry. While the deal faces challenges, it has the potential to benefit both companies and strengthen the U.S. aerospace supply chain.

The coming months will be crucial as the companies navigate the regulatory approval process, finalize the divestiture of Airbus assets, and integrate their operations.

The success of the merger will depend on their ability to address employee concerns, maintain production efficiency, and deliver value to all stakeholders.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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