Talks between Airbus and fuselage manufacturer Spirit Aero Systems are continuing in New York, but now finances are the latest sticking point in a potential acquisition agreement. While details are scarce, current arguments are said to surround Airbus’s potential remuneration for taking on loss-making assets. 

Discussions have been ongoing since March after the former Boeing division was blamed for at least some of the ongoing safety and quality control concerns at the US plane maker. 

Meanwhile, Spirit AeroSystems reported significant losses in Q1, with $617m wiped off in net losses. It refused to give a 2024 outlook as negotiations with Boeing and Airbus remain “ongoing”. 

Operating losses made concerning reading to the firms looking to rescue parts of Spirit, with overall expenditure up from $1.5bn to $2.1bn incorporating $525m losses. 

Loss per share was rated at $5.31. 

It was originally thought Spirit could be ‘re-spun’ back into the Washington-headquartered company, but its major European competitor stepped in to negotiations to envelop the parts of the company responsible for Airbus components. 

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Bloomberg reported Boeing has agreed to inject $425m to stabilise Spirit’s precarious financial position in April, but Reuters has since reported the embattled OEM would require a fresh $1bn to fully revert to the black. 

However Airbus seems less concerned with paying Spirit, and more so with its own financial settlement to take over loss-making divisions. 

According to Reuters’ insiders, the Airbus demand for financial compensation for taking ownership of Spirit AeroSystems’ plants that produce parts for its A350 and A220 passenger jets.

The key facility in Northern Ireland was a Bombardier factory, but it was bought by Spirit when the Canadian firm struggled to maintain its European operations in 2019. 

Spirit’s spokesman Joe Buccino said “irrespective of negotiations, we are and will always lock in on quality, safety, and the highest engineering rigor.”