Mar 1, 2024 - Economy

Boeing confirms talks to acquire fuselage supplier Spirit AeroSystems

Spirit AeroSystems signage on a Boeing 737 fuselage in a manufacturing facility.

Photo: David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Boeing confirmed that it's in talks to acquire Spirit AeroSystems, the jet-fuselage business that's been engulfed in questions over quality issues.

Why it matters: Boeing is under pressure to improve its operations after an emergency exit door flew off an Alaska Airlines flight in mid-air in January, causing the temporary grounding of all 737 MAX 9 planes in U.S. territory.

Driving the news: The aerospace giant said the companies are in early-stage talks about a deal, confirming reporting from The Wall Street Journal.

  • "Spirit, which makes 737 fuselages and other airframe components, was created when Boeing sold some of its factories in 2005," WSJ notes. "Boeing accounts for nearly two-thirds of Spirit's sales, with Airbus and defense companies comprising the rest."

Boeing said it believes reacquiring the manufacturing operations would improve quality.

Catch up quick: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Wednesday that Boeing has 90 days to create a plan to address its "systemic quality-control issues."

  • The regulator is currently conducting an audit of the company's production and manufacturing quality systems, which is expected to be complete in the "coming weeks."

Spirit AeroSystems shares closed up over 15% Friday at $32.98, giving the company a $3.83 billion market cap. Boeing shares closed down 1.8% at $200.

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