NetJets to buy Bombardier, Cessna planes worth $9.6 billion

Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:23pm EDT
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By Nicole Mordant

(Reuters) - NetJets, a private jet-sharing company owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote), said on Monday it would buy up to 425 new business jets from Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO: Quote) and Cessna in a deal worth $9.6 billion to expand its North American and European fleet.

The purchase, which NetJets described as the largest in private aviation history, includes up to 275 Bombardier Challenger business aircraft, the second time in 15 months that NetJets has placed a large order with the Canadian planemaker.

The Bombardier portion of the order, which is valued at $7.3 billion, is made up of 100 firm orders on two different types of Challenger jets, and options for 175 more, NetJets said. Deliveries of the different jets will start in 2014 and 2015.

"This is a very sizable order," said PI Financial airlines analyst Chris Murray.

"Bombardier's aerospace group usually does about $10 billion a year. This will be several years worth of business," he said.

NetJets also said in a statement that it placed an order for 150 Cessna Citation Latitude business aircraft, including 25 firm orders and options for 125 more. Deliveries begin in 2016.

Cessna Aircraft Co, the world's largest maker of business jets, is a subsidiary of Textron Inc TXT.N.

NetJets said the addition of the new aircraft, along with recently-ordered Embraer Phenoms and Bombardier Globals, marks the launch of a new NetJets "Signature Series" of aircraft -- planes that it helped design from start to finish.   Continued...

Banners for the company Bombardier are shown at a sporting event in Lake Louise, Alberta December 2, 2009. REUTERS/Andy Clark