BOMBARDIER CLOSES IN ON DE HAVILLAND DEAL

BOMBARDIER CLOSES IN ON DE HAVILLAND DEAL

Negotiations for Bombardier Inc.'s takeover of the de Havilland division of Boeing of Canada Ltd. are in a final phase and could be wrapped up this week.

"I'm very confident this deal will go through when the last details are settled, hopefully this week," Laurent Beaudoin, Bombardier chairman, said here Monday.Also involved in the negotiations are the Canadian federal government, the Ontario provincial government and the Canadian Auto Workers union.

The Montreal-based transport-equipment concern is expected to pay Boeing US$44.3 million (C$51 million) for a 51 percent stake in de Havilland, while the Ontario government would come in for C$49 million for a 49 percent share. Bombardier also is expected to be given an option to obtain total control at a later date.

Boeing Co. has been trying for 18 months to sell the Toronto-based commuter plane manufacturer it acquired in 1986. A bid by a Franco-Italian consortium fell through last fall when the Commission of the European Community blocked the deal on the grounds that the merged entity would gain an overly dominant position on the market for turbo-prop commuter aircraft.

Mr. Beaudoin declined to comment on reports that his company is seeking US$260.5 million (C$300 million) from the Ontario authorities to cover potential losses.