Sunday 23 December 2018

BRAZIL: Court Rules Out Injunction On Boeing-Embraer Marriage

A Brazilian court on Saturday shot down a fresh injunction by a judge over a plan by planemakers Boeing of the US and Embraer of Brazil to create a $5.26-billion joint venture.

It was the second time this month an appeals court has overruled decisions by a Sao Paulo judge, Victorio Guizio Neto, seeking to temporarily block the deal.

The higher court said on Saturday it was not up to Guizio Neto to decide the future of the proposed joint venture, noting that the Brazilian government held a golden share in Embraer that allowed it to veto strategic decisions if it wished.

Embraer, the third-largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, was founded as a state group in 1969 before being privatized in 1994, though with Brasilia retaining the golden share.

Under the planned deal, Boeing is to take an 80 per cent stake in Embraer's commercial business, thus allowing it to offer planes with capacity of up to 150 seats — a market in which Boeing currently does not compete.

Embraer's military aircraft business was excluded to overcome Brazilian government opposition to giving up a national security asset to a foreign entity.

When the two planemakers originally announced their deal in July this year, they said they expected to wrap up the transaction by the end of 2019.

Judge Guizio Neto two weeks ago ordered the accord be put on ice until the next government, which takes office January 1 under president-elect Jair Bolsonaro, has a chance to examine it.

That was overturned by an appeals court four days later.

Then on Thursday Guizio Neto issued a new injunction at the request of unions working in Embraer's Sao Paulo factories.

The reversal on Saturday was a sharp slap-down to that.

The judicial back and forth has had a yo-yo effect on Embraer shares, sending them into the red with each injunction only for them to recover when the appeals court steps in.

After the first injunction was overruled, the two planemakers said they were forging on with their deal subject to approval by the government of Brazil.

Meanwhile, US planemaker Boeing on Friday said it had agreed deals worth an overall $9.3 billion to sell 50 jets to Nigeria's Green Air and 30 to Saudi carrier flyadeal.

The company lauded the Nigeria accord, which includes a further 50 options, as the largest signed to date in Africa.

As with the Saudi deal, the Nigerians are purchasing single-aisle 737 MAX planes.

While flyadeal has been operating new Airbus A320s, the airline says it has selected the 737 MAX for the future, Boeing said in a statement.

The firm noted its first deliveries to Saudi Arabia were in 1945, as those DC-3 aircraft gave birth to commercial air travel in the kingdom.

Flyeadeal is a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Airlines and flies to a range of domestic destinations across the kingdom.

Boeing quoted the director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, as saying: The demand for air transport services in the domestic market of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has grown exponentially, adding flyadeal had ambitions eventually to cover new markets outside of Saudi Arabia.

The flyadeal is for the 189-seater 737 MAX 8, whose operating costs Boeing said were eight percent lower than the carrier's current fleet of Airbus A320s.

If all the purchase options are exercised, the two deals unveiled Friday will be worth around $17.6 billion at list prices.

Green Airways owner Babawande Afolabi said the Nigerian end of the deal was a strong sign of growing African entrepreneurial dynamism and resilience.

Boeing saw that deal as a step towards construction of a solid Pan-African network, adding the Africa aviation sector has exceptional potential.

Since launching the 737 MAX Boeing said it has received more than 4,800 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide.

European rival Airbus said earlier this month it had 380 net orders for planes from January to November with 673 deliveries over that period.

Boeing said it had landed 631 orders between January and September.

Tourism Observer

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