Analysts: Upside for Exec Jets Unit under Embraer/Boeing JV

 - July 10, 2018, 11:28 AM

While several details have yet to be ironed out, analysts are generally seeing an upside for Embraer Executive Jets with the proposed Embraer/Boeing joint venture (JV) announced on July 5. Embraer and Boeing have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a JV that would “strategically align” the companies’ commercial development, production, marketing, and lifecycle services operations. Under the MoU, Boeing would have an 80 percent stake in the venture.

The companies said details of the joint venture will be forthcoming, but Embraer confirmed that the Embraer Executive Jets (EEJ) division would not be part of the new joint venture. Questions remain surrounding shared services, support efforts, and activity involving Embraer’s business jet variants of airliners, including its Legacy 650 and Lineage 1000E.

“I tend to be optimistic about the outlook for the non-E-Jet remnant of Embraer in the aftermath of the Boeing JV deal,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for the Teal Group. “This JV will free up new product development resources. I don't think they'll divest anything, and will likely prioritize new business aircraft product development, as quickly as they can identify possible market opportunities.”

Rolland Vincent, president of Rolland Vincent Associates and JetNet iQ creator/director, said Embraer has made “impressive strides to date” with its all-new business jet models. He called the EEJ unit a formidable competitor with 18 percent market share in deliveries, “which is no slouch for a division that really emerged on the scene in a big way just in the last 10 to 15 years.”

EEJ has remained focused on brand building, Vincent added, noting JetNet iQ surveys find EEJ operators rating the brand highly, “suggesting that they are doing a superior job with the customers who know them best…My guess is that EEJ is competitively well positioned…and focused on increasing sales/production of its current lines.”

Having said that, Vincent could see EEJ as a good fit with either Gulfstream, which has a track record in such collaborations, or Dassault, which once had an equity stake in Embraer. Both could align with little product overlap. But he sees such alliance as less likely given the strength of the unit currently and further expects the Embraer/Boeing JV to consume a good deal of Embraer management resources over the next several quarters.

Aboulafia, however, does see the possibility of a JV involving Boeing Business Jets and the Lineage 1000 and Legacy 650 business. As for the services end, Aboulafia questioned whether EEJ and the commercial business would need to be disentangled with the JV. “They may view the Boeing connection as an opportunity to create new product support conduits,” he said. “They may even work with Boeing on joint support for BBJs. None of this is covered by the new JV, but it doesn't mean they can't cooperate.”