Boeing in talks to acquire Spirit Aerosystems

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Boeing is in talks to acquire Spirit Aerosystems, a supplier that has been beset by its latest manufacturing woes.

A major global aircraft parts supplier, the company was spun off from Boeing in 2005 as part of a cost-cutting drive.

It relies on Boeing for more than two-thirds of its business.

Boeing has come under pressure on its production pipeline after part of one of its planes exploded in mid-air in January.

A U.S. government review of the explosion found that bolts fastening the panel at the Boeing factory in Washington were removed to repair damaged rivets and never reinstalled.

The piece was manufactured by Spirit before being sent to Boeing for final assembly.

This week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has been investigating Boeing since the incident, gave Boeing 90 days to develop a “comprehensive action plan” to improve its safety management systems.

Boeing is already working closely with Spirit to resolve several quality issues that have caused delays in aircraft deliveries and led to the hiring of a new chief executive at Spirit last year.

In a statement to Reuters on Friday, Boeing said: “We believe that reintegrating the manufacturing operations of Boeing and Spirit Aerosystems will further strengthen aviation safety, improve quality and serve the interests of our customers, employees and shareholders.”

Spirit's shares rose more than 10% on Friday, giving its market value more than $3.7bn, following reports of takeover talks.

Spirit, which said it was also considering selling its Northern Irish unit to Airbus, did not respond to the BBC's request for comment.

Spirit employs more than 20,600 people worldwide, including around 3,400 in Belfast and 1,120 in Prestwick.

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