Wed, May 02, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Boeing buying KLX for US$4.25 billion

ALL ABOUT PARTS:The deal, which is conditional on KLX’s divesting itself of its Energy Services Group, must still be approved by KLX’s shareholders and regulators

Bloomberg

Boeing Co is acquiring KLX Inc for US$4.25 billion in an all-cash transaction that includes US$1 billion of net debt, as the world’s largest planemaker bolsters a fast-growing new division that offers maintenance, spare parts and other services to airlines.

The aircraft maker will pay US$63 per share for the purchase that includes KLX’s Aerospace Solutions Group and the deal is conditional upon the successful divestment and separation of KLX’s Energy Services Group, Boeing said in a statement.

The sale, also subject to approvals from regulators and KLX shareholders, is expected to close by the third quarter.

The deal is the largest struck so far by chief executive officer Dennis Muilenburg, who has been scouting acquisitions that would more than triple sales at Boeing’s services business to US$50 billion within a decade.

Boeing has held preliminary talks with partsmaker Woodward Inc, according to media reports in February, and is deep into talks to form a joint venture that would give it control of Embraer SA’s commercial jets.

KLX is to become part of Boeing Global Services and be fully integrated with the planemaker’s parts subsidiary, Aviall, with an anticipated annual cost savings of US$70 million by 2021, according to the statement.

There is no change to Boeing’s guidance for this year or capital deployment strategy and commitment to returning all of the free cash flow to shareholders, the Chicago-based company said.

Boeing expects the acquisition to be earnings neutral through next year.

“We continue to see global services as our biggest market-growth opportunity,” Muilenburg told reporters at the company’s annual meeting on Monday, hours before the deal was announced.

The transaction would be financed primarily with cash on hand, supplemented with debt, Boeing said.

While Boeing remains focused on organic growth, the company is exploring targeted takeovers and investments to round out its product portfolio, he said.

Boeing is also scouting deals in areas such as avionics — electronic communications or navigation equipment — where the planemaker is taking over work previously handled by suppliers.

Boeing created the services division last year by assembling an assortment of highly profitable units that support customers and altogether account for about 15 percent of total sales.

The foray rattled aerospace suppliers and enginemakers, which typically make the bulk of their profit tending to aircraft over 30-year commercial lives.

KLX, which was spun out of B/E Aerospace Inc in 2014 amid pressure from shareholder activists, got about 90 percent of its US$1.49 billion in sales from aircraft parts and aftermarket services in its most recent fiscal year.

The remainder came from the business catering to oil and gas drillers.

Revenue in the energy services division has tumbled 60 percent to US$153.2 million since the separation as oil prices fell, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

KLX’s Aerospace Solutions Group has about 2,000 employees, with customer service centers located in about 15 countries.

Shares of the company closed at US$78.23 on Monday.

Speculation of a possible tie-up with Boeing has swirled since KLX said in December last year that it was reviewing options that included a sale.

Boeing approached the aerospace partsmaker last year before the strategic review, DealReporter said in an account earlier this year.

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