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Airbus May Invest in Spanish Supplier Alestis to Secure Work

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Airbus SAS may invest in one of its key suppliers in Spain, Alestis Aerospace Manufacturing SL, to protect the delivery of parts and ensure Alestis can pay its own subcontractors.

Airbus has been supporting Alestis for more than a year, since the Spanish company struggled to receive credit, and the Toulouse-based planemaker is now considering an outright investment, said Airbus spokesman Jaime Perez-Guerra.

Both Airbus and Boeing Co. are turning out record levels of aircraft, with combined production set to rise 10 percent this year. Suppliers including Alestis, which makes parts for all Airbus aircraft including the new A350 wide-body jet, have struggled to keep pace. Airbus purchased PFW in 2011 after the German supplier lost access to credit.

“At this point our main aim is to guarantee that Alestis will deliver on its obligations to us, and for that we need a solution for the long term,” Perez-Guerra said.

Airbus has sent in managers to help Alestis in areas such as engineering. The manufacturer may invest 21 million euros ($28 million) for a controlling 56.5 percent stake, Spanish paper El Pais reported Jan. 9.

The amount of workload for Alestis coming from Airbus is about worth about 2.3 billion euros over the next 10 years, Perez-Guerra said. The company’s two main work packages for the A350 are the belly fairing and the tail cone. The belly fairing is a streamlined cover that protects the belly of a plane, used to reduce drag.

Alestis didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment. Its shareholders include Alcor SL, Caixabank and Junta de Andalucia.

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To contact the reporters on this story: Andrea Rothman in Toulouse at aerothman@bloomberg.net; Ben Sills in Madrid at bsills@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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