GKN said to be considering bid for Spirit AeroSystems' wing facility

Reuters reports that U.K.-based GKN is evaluating acquisition of Spirit AeroSystems' wing manufacturing facility in Tulsa, Okla., USA.

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News agency Reuters reported on July 26 that GKN (Redditch, Worcestershire, U.K.) is considering buying a Spirit AeroSystems (Wichita, Kan., USA) wing factory in Tulsa, Okla., USA. The Tulsa facility employs about 3,000 people and produces wing structures and components for the Boeing 737NG, 747, 777 and 787 aircraft.

Spirit also makes wing components in Kinston, N.C., USA, for the Airbus A350, and has a factory in Prestwick, Scotland, that supplies other Airbus models, including the A380 superjumbo. A plant in Subang, Malaysia, makes composite wing sub­assemblies. The Reuters report says these non-Tulsa plans would not be part of the acquisition.

GKN designs and manufactures wings at its site in Filton, U.K., and supplies aerostructures, and fuel and flotation systems. Last year it bought Volvo's Aero aerospace business.

According to the Reuters report, BofA Merrill Lynch analysts say the Spirit AeroSystems wing division is underperforming, with about $1.3 billion in revenue in 2013 and margins of 4.5 percent. About $1.3 billion of Spirit's 2013 estimated $6 billion in sales are from wing systems, the analysts said. Spirit AeroSystems reported on July 25 that it was laying off about 360 workers in Kansas and Oklahoma.

The U.K.'s Daily Mail newspaper reported on July 25 that GKN was considering acquiring all of Spirit AeroSystems, but this has not yet been confirmed.