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Boeing, Embraer near "˜marriage,"™ Brazil defense chief says
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Boeing, Embraer near "˜marriage,"™ Brazil defense chief says

Boeing and Embraer are likely to reach a deal after months of talks, Brazil"™s new defense chief said, opening the door to the second alliance between major planemakers in six months.

Negotiators "are getting closer" to an agreement, Defense Minister Joaquim Silva e Luna said in an interview Tuesday at a security trade show in Sao Paulo.

"I would say, in short, this will end in marriage," said Silva e Luna, who was appointed six weeks ago.

The comments marked a change of tone at the defense ministry, which has been cautious about a deal because of Embraer"™s role as a leading Brazilian innovator and a crucial supplier of military planes. On the commercial side, a tie-up with Boeing would extend an industry shift that began in October when Airbus agreed to take control of Bombardier"™s C Series jet "“ a competitor to the Embraer E2 planes debuting this year.

Silva e Luna said he wasn"™t sure what form a transaction between Embraer and Chicago-based Boeing would take.

"Don"™t ask me which kind of marriage, if it is with total sharing of assets, with partial sharing of assets or with separation of assets," he said.

One option under discussion is a venture that would include commercial jets instead of an outright acquisition, Bloomberg reported in February. But a deal would potentially go beyond commercial planes, Silva e Luna said, citing an opportunity for Brazil to get help from Boeing in selling Embraer"™s KC-390 military-transport aircraft.

"This is one of the "˜win"™ for Embraer," he said. "Boeing can facilitate the marketing of the KC-390. Boeing can offer that. So in these talks, this makes talks easier."

The discussions are going "very well," Embraer Chief Executive Officer Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva told reporters on April 4, while delivering the first E190-E2 jet to Norwegian airline Wideroe in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, where the company is based…

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