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Spirit AeroSystems emerges as front-runner for Bombardier aerostructures plants -sources

MONTREAL/SEATTLE, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Spirit AeroSystems Holdings has emerged as the front-runner to acquire Bombardier’s aerostructures facilities in Belfast and Morocco, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

A deal for the plants would be “strategic” for U.S. aerospace components maker Spirit, which is diversifying its customer base. But an agreement for the plants has not been concluded and talks could break off, said one of the sources, who discussed the private negotiations on condition of anonymity.

Bombardier said in May it would sell off the two aerostructures operations, including a wing-making facility in Belfast, as the Montreal-based company sheds its commercial aviation businesses to focus on more profitable corporate jets and passenger rail cars businesses.

Reuters could not ascertain a value for the deal.

Bombardier and Spirit both declined comment. (Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal and Eric Johnson in Seattle. Additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris Editing by Denny Thomas and Dan Grebler)