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Boeing set to buy back supplier Spirit Aero: sources

STORY: Boeing is closing in on a deal to buy back Spirit AeroSystems - a former subsidiary that plays a big role in making its jets.

The U.S. aerospace giant wants to take it back as part of moves to improve quality control.

The firm has been in the spotlight since a midair blowout on one of its 737 MAX jets revived concerns over the safety of its jets.

Reaching agreement with arch-rival Airbus had been the big problem.

The European company didn’t want Boeing owning factories that make major parts for some of its latest aircraft.

However, sources say talks have made “good progress”, with a deal now seen possible before Airbus posts mid-year earnings in July.

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That could see it take control of key plants in North Carolina and Northern Ireland.

Boeing spun off Spirit back in 2005.

Now the exact timing of a buyback deal is unclear, though the sources said it could come within weeks.

Besides the quality concerns, Boeing has also become worried about Spirit’s financial condition.

It posted a net loss of $617 million in the first quarter, and burned through $444 million in cash - far more than analysts expected.

There was no comment from Boeing on the latest reports, while Airbus would only say that discussions were taking place.