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Bombardier exits commercial aviation with A220 sale to Airbus

Montreal: Once the third largest aircraft maker, Canada's Bombardier on Thursday announced the sale of its A220 stake to Airbus and the Quebec government, effectively exiting commercial aviation after a failed expansion.

Heavily indebted, the Montreal-based company is also reportedly in talks to sell its rail division to France's Alstom, which would leave the former Canadian manufacturing titan to build only business jets.

According to a statement, Bombardier will receive US 591 million from Airbus for its 33.58 percent stake in the joint Airbus Canada Limited Partnership (ACLP). The funds are to be used to pay down its more than US 9 billion debt.

Bombardier had already sold in 2018 a majority stake in its C Series jetliner to the world's largest airliner manufacturer, which rebranded it the A220.

Thursday's transaction increases Airbus's share in the A220 to 75 percent, while the Quebec government -- which helped to fund its development -- retains a 25-percent stake (up from 16 percent). Quebec said it now plans to sell its stake to Airbus in 2026, three years later than scheduled. "This transaction supports our efforts to address our capital structure and completes our strategic exit from commercial aerospace," Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said.

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