The Boeing company is considering spinning off some of its prospective high-growth businesses, including one that offers Internet service for aircraft, although it said on Monday it has not finalised any plans.
“We have always said that as these high-growth businesses mature, we would look at ways to maximize potential for shareholders,” spokesman Larry McCracken said. Of these businesses, he added that “They`re still in their very early development stages; there`s really nothing near-term that we`re looking at.” One scenario would call for Boeing to make new companies out of one or more of the businesses. Shares of a new company would be distributed to Boeing shareholders.
The idea is that the businesses, such as the “Connextion by Boeing” in-air Internet venture or Air Traffic Management - its effort to develop a private air traffic control system - could generate better profits that would justify spinning them off.
Another option for Boeing is to offer a tracking stock for a business segment, though McCracken said nothing has been decided. Tracking stocks allow investors to purchase opportunities in a specific segment of a company`s business, but don`t confer actual ownership of the company. Connextion offers Internet connections and live television to airliners in flight. Boeing is trying to find airlines to help develop and market the service.
Earlier this year, Boeing bought the communications satellite business of Hughes Electronics for US$3.8 billion.