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Bombardier exiting commercial plane business due to massive debt

Canadian Bombardier Inc. announced on Thursday that it will exit commercial plane business due to massive debt.

Bombardier said it has agreed to exit a venture known as Airbus Canada Limited Partnership that builds the European plane maker's A220 single-aisle jet, which is the former C Series airliner developed by Bombardier at a cost of more than 6 billion U.S. dollars.

Under an agreement with Airbus and Canada's Quebec provincial government, Bombardier said it will transfer its shares to Airbus and the provincial government due to over 9 billion U.S. dollars in debt.

Airbus will pay Bombardier 591 million U.S. dollars to increase its share in the venture to 75 percent from just over 50 percent and relieve Bombardier of further capital commitments in the program worth 700-million U.S. dollars. The Quebec government will boost its share in the venture to 25 percent from about 16 percent for no cash consideration.

The agreement takes effect immediately, bringing to an end to Bombardier's involvement in commercial aerospace.

The announcement comes as the Montreal-based plane-and-train maker reported a loss of 1.61 billion U.S. dollar for 2019.

Over the past five years, Bombardier has sold its waterbomber business, its Q400 turboprop unit, its CRJ regional jet franchise and its flight training business among other assets.

The C Series, a single-aisle plane seating 100-150 people, was years late to market as well as over-budget.

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