After warning about worse-than-forecast earnings, a reassessment of its partnership with Airbus on the A220, and pursuit of alternatives to pay down debt, Bombardier could “take an existing page out of their old playbook…and sell yet another business unit,” specifically its business jet division, posits business aviation analyst Brian Foley. While it wouldn’t be a "seller’s market" for Bombardier's business jet division,” Foley said there would likely be several potential suitors.
Of the major business aviation OEMs, “The last logical man standing…would be Textron Aviation,” he said, noting that product overlap would rule out both Gulfstream and Dassault, while Embraer is preoccupied with its Boeing tie-up. “Non-strategic buyers could also be suspects,” Foley added, citing large private-equity firms, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, and the company's founding Beaudoin family.
Fellow business aviation analyst Rolland Vincent agrees that its business jet unit could be put up for sale, "although there are other possibilities such as further asset sales or joint ventures in its airplane and train units." He told AIN that the most likely buyers would be Textron Aviation, allowing it to go up-market, or Mitsubishi, which reached a deal in June to buy Bombardier’s CRJ program.
A Bombardier Aviation spokesman told AIN that the company’s business aviation division “has strong platforms that continue to perform,” adding that the company won’t comment on market speculation.