MONTREAL (Reuters) - The Canadian province of Quebec expects to finalize an agreement to invest $1 billion in planemaker Bombardier Inc’s (BBDb.TO) CSeries program by the end of June, Premier Philippe Couillard said Monday.
“Our objective is to finish it by June 30,” Couillard told reporters on the sidelines of an international conference in Montreal. “I think that’s realistic. Things are progressing well.”
Couillard said a deal with Bombardier could be reached even if separate talks with Canada’s federal government are not completed by the end of the month. Quebec and Bombardier want the the federal government to match the province’s $1 billion investment in the narrowbody jet program, but talks have dragged on amid governance concerns by the country’s Liberal government over the plane-and-train-maker’s dual class share structure.
“It’s up to them (Canada) to negotiate with Bombardier. Our deal is going forward. We are going to formally sign the agreement very soon,” Couillard said.
“And we’ll do our first payment very soon.”
Couillard could not say whether the first payment of $500 million would be made before the Farnborough International Air show, which starts in mid-July.
“It would be ideal,” said Couillard of paying an installment before the show.
Couillard said the terms of the federal and Quebec deals with Bombardier would need to be complementary but not necessarily the same. While Quebec has agreed to invest in the now money-losing 110-150 seat CSeries planes, media reports have said Canada wants to invest in Bombardier Inc’s parent company.
“They can be complementary, they don’t have to be absolutely identical,” Couillard said of the deal’s conditions.“But they have to be in-synch. They have to work with one another.”
Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Chizu Nomiyama