TORONTO Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) said on Wednesday it has inked a deal to sell Russian aircraft leasing company Ilyushin Finance Co up to 42 of its new C-series jetliners in a deal that could be worth as much as $3.42 billion.
The agreement, which is subject to a vote by Ilyushin shareholders, expands on a tentative agreement signed in 2011 to buy at least 10 of the aircraft.
Montreal-based Bombardier's shares rose about 3 percent in the final 20 minutes of trading after the deal was announced. The shares finished the session up 4.1 percent at C$4.28 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Ilyushin will buy 32 of Bombardier's 130-seat CS300 jetliners for about $2.56 billion, based on the list price of the aircraft. It has an option to purchase another 10 jets, which could bring the total value to about $3.42 billion, Bombardier said.
"Ultimately, it's a good deal in that it seems to quite a bit bigger than was originally envisaged," said David Tyerman, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity.
He cautioned that large deals with leasing companies tend to be finalized at lower prices, which can make it harder for airlines to squeeze margins from them.
Bombardier, the world's No. 3 plane maker and largest passenger train manufacturer, said in November it was delaying by six months the inaugural flight of the C-series planes, which mark an attempt to muscle into the mid-size jet market dominated by Boeing (BA.N) and Airbus EAD.PA.
The CS300 is not expected to enter service until the end of 2014.
As of the end of 2012, Bombardier had booked orders and commitments for 382 C-series aircraft, it said.
Bombardier will report fourth-quarter results on Thursday,
(Reporting By Cameron French; Editing by Gary Hill and Leslie Adler)
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