Spirit AeroSystems Now Plans to Sell Off Plants

Aug. 6, 2013
Hires investment bank to coordinate sale Tulsa plant fabricates commercial jet wings Macalester, Okla. plant machines components

After announcing plans to layoff more than 300 workers at three plants less than two weeks ago, Spirit AeroSystems now has two operations available for purchase. The Wichita-based designer and manufacturer of composite structural components — in particular commercial aircraft fuselages, pylons, nacelles, and wing components — also postponed reporting its second-quarter earnings, and will delay filing its second-quarter financial statements.

The company engaged an investment-banking firm to coordinate the sale of the plants. Spirit AeroSystems has been involved in an organizational review since it installed a new CEO in March.

The problem for Spirit is cost overruns in several production programs, and notably for Gulfstream business jets, for which it produces composite wing structures. Spirit also supplies products to several Boeing 737 commercial jet programs, to Airbus A32 program, and to Bombardier’s business jet program.

The plants to be sold are at McAlester and Tulsa Okla. The Tulsa plant was one affected by the layoffs announced in late July. It fabricates Boeing 737NG, 747-8, 777 and 787 composite and metallic wing components, as well as metallic and composite floor beams for Boeing 777s and 787s. For the business jet sector, the plant produces a fully integrated wing system for the Gulfstream G280 and G650 aircraft.

The Tulsa plant is involved in military supply programs, too, including the E3 AWACS radomes, engine cowls, and rudders.

The plant in McAlester, Okla., machines subassemblies for programs at Tulsa, and at Spirit’s Wichita plant.

Together the two plants have approximately 3,000 workers.

Spirit said it would take to take a $350million-$400 million pretax charge against its second-quarter results as it anticipates further cost increases in the Gulfstream program, from 2014 to 2021.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)