The US aerospace manufacturer Spirit Aerosystems has bought the historic Short Brothers factory from Bombardier in a $1.1bn (£850m) deal that ends months of uncertainty over the jobs of 3,500 high-skilled workers in Northern Ireland. Bombardier put Short Brothers up for sale in May after a difficult period for the plant, which makes wings for Airbus’s A220 aircraft as well as supplying parts for Airbus’s A320neo and Bombardier business and regional jets. Spirit, which is based in Wichita, Kansas, will pay Bombardier $500m in cash, and will take on $300m in pension liabilities and $290m in government grant repayment obligations. A spokeswoman for Bombardier said there were no workforce adjustments included in the deal. About 4,000 employees will transfer to Spirit, including smaller operations in the US and Morocco. Spirit said it expected to make $60m from cutting costs and other cooperation benefits. Short Brothers, which traces its history back to 1908, is a key provider of well-paid jobs in Belfast and nearby towns, but its recent struggles resulted in several rounds of redundancies, including 500 jobs in November 2018. The company reported a loss of $33.8m in 2017, but recovered to make an operating profit of $4.9m in 2018…. Read full this story
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