April 25, 2018 / 5:13 PM / a year ago

Airbus, Bombardier eye CSeries deal by late May - sources

MONTREAL, April 25 (Reuters) - Airbus SE and Bombardier aim to close a deal giving the European planemaker a majority stake in the Canadian company’s CSeries jetliner program by the end of May, ahead of an initial timetable, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

An early deal closure would accelerate orders and efforts to reduce costs, the people added. A third source said the deal, initially expected to close in late 2018, and then mid-year, pending regulatory approval, is now “very close.”

The companies have almost completed the process of seeking clearances which must span multiple jurisdictions, they added.

All of the sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

An Airbus spokesman pointed to comments by Chief Executive Tom Enders who said this month the deal would close by mid-year.

Bombardier could not immediately be reached for comment.

In October last year, Airbus agreed to buy a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries jetliner program, grabbing control of a struggling competitor. (Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal, Additional reporting by Alana Wise in New York Editing by Denny Thomas and Susan Thomas)

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