Bombardier Looks To Sell Downsview Site

 - March 19, 2018, 12:24 PM

Bombardier retained TD Bank as it weighs potential options for the sale of its facility in Downsview, Ontario, just outside of downtown Toronto. Bombardier earlier this year confirmed that it was looking at options for the facility, which is the site of Global business jet and Q400 regional turboprop production, among other activities.

The potential sale is part of the Bombardier’s five-year turnaround plan that the then-cash-strapped company unveiled in 2015. “As part of this turnaround plan, we have been reviewing our facilities worldwide—including Downsview—to ensure we have the most efficient and cost-effective operations necessary to support our growth objectives,” Bombardier had said in a statement.

The sale does not mean Bombardier plans to walk away from the Toronto area, saying, “We remain committed to strongly supporting the Ontario aerospace industry and the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research Initiative, as we look at options for our Downsview site.” Reported new potential sites for manufacturing have included a location by Toronto Pearson International Airport.

But Bombardier maintains it is using only about 10 percent of the 375-acre Downsview site and is supporting the entire cost of the 7,000-foot runway there. “We've been working on this for quite a while. It's an amazing piece of land, right? Downtown Toronto; that's got huge value,” Bombardier president and CEO Alain Bellemare told investors last month. “For us, it's an underutilized asset. We can do the same type of work somewhere else.”

Bombardier is hoping to close on something fairly quickly this year, Bellemare added. “The process is following its due course and we are seeing a lot of interest for this site due to its strategic location and unique features,” a Bombardier spokesman said. “In case of a sale, we would ensure that there is no impact on Q400 and Global production.” Bloomberg reported that Bombardier has received several bids valued at least C$500 million (US$382 million).