Rolls-Royce announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell 100% of ITP Aero to Bain Capital Private Equity, which is leading a consortium of investors, for approximately €1.7 billion. The consortium includes interests to be held by Spanish co-investors SAPA and JB Capital.
The proposed sale is a key element of Rolls-Royce’s disposal programme, announced on 27 August 2020, to raise proceeds of at least £2.0 billion, and is consistent with the company’s strategy of reducing capital intensity while maintaining a key long-term strategic supply relationship. Rolls-Royce will receive total cash proceeds (excluding any cash retained by Rolls-Royce) of approximately €1.7 billion, which will be used to help rebuild the Rolls-Royce balance sheet, in support of the company’s medium-term ambition to return to an investment grade credit profile. The proposed sale values ITP Aero at an enterprise value of approximately €1.8 billion. The transaction has been approved by the Board of Rolls-Royce and the consortium members and is subject to certain closing conditions, including customary regulatory clearances. It is expected to close in the first half of 2022.
The plane maker Boeing says it expects that it will take another two and a half years for global aviation to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Its vice president of commercial marketing, Darren Hulst, said: “The industry recovers to 2019 levels of traffic by the end of 2023, early 2024” and domestic flying would be at the forefront of any recovery.
Long-haul international routes would take the longest to recover, according to Boeing’s forecast, partly because of government restrictions.
Boeing says these will need to be eased to enable “the recovery of the pent up demand that exists already in the marketplace”.
Last year, passenger numbers fell 60% to 1.8 billion and the industry lost $126bn, according to the airline body IATA, which said it was the worst year on record.
Boeing says that the strength of the global economy is key to recovering from the slump. Using data from IHS Economics it says that “the global economy is actually trending back towards where it would have been had the virus not actually happened”.
The International Monetary Fund is expecting the global economy to grow 6% this year and 4.9% next year, as it recovers from the damage inflicted by the pandemic.
But a coordinated global approach on travel restrictions is also a “tremendously important” factor in the recovery, Mr Hulst said, adding that common understanding of travel rules enabled people to “resume business, resume visiting and resume how they use the global transportation system [like] before the virus began”.
Across the world, governments have taken their own approaches to recognising vaccine and testing status. There are also differing requirements around quarantine periods which have made international travel a complicated affair. However, last month the European Union introduced a vaccine passport to make it easier for people to travel across borders within the bloc
Rolls-Royce’s first all-electric aircraft has completed its maiden flight in the skies above the UK ahead of a world record attempt later this year. The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ soared for around 15 minutes, having taken off from the MOD’s Boscombe Down airfield in Wiltshire on Wednesday.
With its powerful 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain and the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft, the Spirit of Innovation represents a significant step towards all-electric aircraft becoming a regular feature of our skies and on the aviation industry’s journey towards decarbonisation.
In a statement issued to coincide with the milestone, Rolls-Royce said it marks “the beginning of an intense flight-testing phase in which we will be collecting valuable performance data on the aircraft’s electrical power and propulsion system”.
Rolls-Royce is looking to build on the Spirit of Innovation’s success and attempt to set a new world record for electric flight speed later this year. The current record stands at 210mph, but Rolls-Royce believes it will be able to surpass 300mph.
Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said: “The first flight of the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is a great achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. We are focused on producing the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea, and capture the economic opportunity of the transition to net zero.
This is not only about breaking a world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Urban Air Mobility market and can help make ‘jet zero’ a reality.”