April 10, 2015 / 8:34 PM / in 2 years

Quebec economy minister says assured Bombardier rail unit won't be sold

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Quebec's economy minister said on Friday he had been assured by Bombardier Inc's controlling family that the company would not sell its transportation division in its entirety and that other options were on the table.

Jacques Daoust said he spoke to Bombardier Chairman Pierre Beaudoin after Reuters reported that the Montreal-based company is looking for ways to use its transport division to raise money, such as by selling all or part of the unit or launching an initial public offering in Europe.

According to Daoust, Beaudoin told him a sale had been ruled out but the company has taken note of the global consolidation trend in the industry.

Beaudoin, who became executive chairman in February after a new chief executive was appointed, is part of Bombardier's founding family, which still owns a controlling stake.

"I have no reason to doubt Pierre Beaudoin when he says there will be no sale," Daoust said. "This is the good news for Quebec."

While Daoust would not go into further details about their conversation, the economy minister said it was too early to worry about the loss of jobs from Quebec.

He said the possibility of an IPO for the transport division would not involve the transfer of jobs from Quebec. In the event of a merger, Quebec would intervene to ensure that Bombardier jobs remained in the province, he said.

"I know Pierre Beaudoin for a long time and I know (his father) Laurent Beaudoin for even longer," Daoust said. "I am sure that they will work in the best interests of Quebec."

Earlier this year, Daoust said Quebec stood ready to bail out Bombardier if its balance sheet deteriorated. Canada's No. 2 pension fund, Quebec's Caisse de depot et placement, is an investor in the plane and train maker.

Reporting by Allison Lampert; Writing by Amran Abocar; Editing by Tiffany Wu

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