Perspectives from ISB

Bombardier Inc. is a Canadian multinational aerospace and transportation company, founded by Joseph-Armand Bombardier in 1942. Currently the Bombardier and Beaudoin family are the company’s largest shareholders. Last year collectively the families spent some $50 million to increase their stake in the embattled transportation company even though the stock price collapse cost its controlling family hundreds of millions of dollars. The five family members who sit on the board of directors collectively lost US$200 million.

Bombardier’s foray into the 100- to 160-seat single-aisle jet market has left it with a heavy debt load after repeated delays and technical setbacks. The new Bombardier jet competes with aircraft made by Boeing Co. and Airbus Group SE. In February, Bombardier cut nearly 10% of its workforce and reported a fourth-quarter loss of $677 billion. In a bailout package, the Canadian company agreed to sell nearly half its stake in the CSeries program to the government of Quebec and a stake in its train-manufacturing business to a Quebce pension fund.

Recently there has been some good news. Bombardier Inc. is discussing a deal to sell as many as 125 CSeries jets to Delta Air Lines Inc. This sale would be a shot in the arm of the CSeries, though analysts say Delta might demand price cuts and favorable contract terms, which would hinder the long-term profitability of the jet. However this deal is significant as it is the first major contract from an US carrier.

Source: Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2016