Boeing to buy 787 Dreamliner parts maker for $580 million

Boeing, one of the world's largest manufacturers of commercial jets and military aircraft, has agreed to purchase the Vought Aircraft Industries' North Charleston facilities in South Carolina, which builds a key structure for Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner airplane, in an effort to strengthen the already delayed 787 production programme.

The unit performs fabrication, and assembly of structures and systems installation of 787 Dreamliner's fuselage sections. On completion of the transaction Vought will continue to work on Boeing's many production programmes including other components of 787, as well as structures and integral parts for other aircraft models through the company's facilities located elsewhere.

President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Scott Carson said in a press release yesterday: ''Integrating this facility and its talented employees into Boeing will strengthen the 787 programme by enabling us to accelerate productivity and efficiency improvements as we move toward production ramp-up. In addition, it will bolster our capability to develop and produce large composite structures that will contribute to the advancement of this critical technology.''

Under the deal, Boeing will pay Vought $580 million, apart from releasing it from its obligations to repay amounts previously advanced by Boeing. Separate agreements have been signed between the two sides for the work packages on Boeing 737, 777 and the other systems for 787.

Vought president and CEO Elmer Doty said, ''We take great pride knowing that we have been able to satisfy the technological and physical demands of the 787 programme alongside much larger companies. However, the financial demands of this program are clearly growing beyond what a company our size can support.

Boeing had earlier identified Vought as a problematic supplier who was not able to stick to its deadlines for the 787 components, thereby delaying the production programme.