GKN to buy fabrication operation from Boeing

GKN intends to buy The Boeing Company’s St. Louis fabrication operations and transfer non-Boeing manufacturing work to St. Louis.

Pending regulatory and board approvals, GKN intends to buy The Boeing Company’s St. Louis fabrication operations, establish its US-based administrative offices, and transfer non-Boeing manufacturing work to St. Louis once the transaction is completed.

The transaction is subject to approval by the Boeing and GKN boards of directors, union approval of a collective bargaining agreement, and certain government approvals. Transfer of ownership is expected to occur by early 2001.

Boeing Military Aircraft and Missile Systems President Jerry Daniels said GKN met all of the criteria Boeing had requested of potential buyers. GKN has promised to reduce the cost of the structures it delivers to Boeing; to commit to St. Louis on a long-term basis; to work with the existing unions; to maintain pay and benefits comparable to those Boeing employees make now; to bring in outside, non-Boeing work; and to invest in new technology, process improvements and other capabilities.

About 1,500 Boeing employees currently work in St. Louis fabrication operations. GKN estimates it initially will employ about 1,200 of them. GKN has said that within the first year after it takes ownership it plans to transfer non-Boeing work into the St. Louis fabrication facilities, which currently support only Boeing defence products and which are currently running under capacity.

Boeing employees who receive and accept job offers from GKN and who are members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) are expected to vote on whether to approve the IAMAW’s agreement with GKN in November.