Northern Ireland

B/E Aerospace: Arlene Foster speaks to senior executive

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has said she has spoken to a vice president of B/E Aerospace after the company effectively put itself up for sale.

The firm is one of the major employers in south Down with more than 800 workers at its Kilkeel factory.

B/E makes aircraft seats and interiors at the factory.

Ms Foster said that she understood the sale prospect was causing "nervousness and uncertainty", but said the Kilkeel plant was "a very strong base".

She added that it was clear the B/E executive holds the Kikeel workforce in the "highest regard".

The highly successful Florida-based company, which is worth up to $10bn (£5.6bn) , has hired an investment bank to advise it on a possible sale or merger.

The press agency Reuters has reported that the German firm Recaro Aircraft Seating is interested in the firm.

Earlier this week, Recaro's chief executive Mark Hiller confirmed that his firm was "looking into" the possibility of buying part or parts of B/E Aerospace.

The US firm Honeywell, and the French aircraft seat manufacturer Zodiac, have also been mentioned as potential buyers.

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