Boeing CEO: No government equity stake in coronavirus aid

Boeing CEO: Important for US government to reopen credit markets

Boeing CEO David Calhoun, in a wide-ranging interview, addresses production disruptions and plans to support the company throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Boeing CEO David Calhoun said Tuesday the company does not want the federal government to take an equity stake in the aerospace giant, but would prefer to see support for the equity markets.

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"I don't have a need for an equity stake," Calhoun told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo. "I want them to support the credit markets, provide liquidity. Allow us to borrow against our future, which we all believe in very strongly and I think our creditors will too. It's really that simple."

Calhoun suggested the company may reject aid if it required the government take an equity stake in the company.

"If you attach too many things to it, of course you take a different course," he said.

The company, like many in the current business environment, is attempting to save cash and has taken measures to limit the economic hardship stemming from the virus.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BA BOEING COMPANY 105.62 +10.61 +11.17%

On Friday, the company announced it will suspend its dividend "until further notice," that Calhoun and board Chairman Larry Kellner will forgo all pay through the end of the year and that it will extend the pause in its stock buyback program, which it suspended in April 2019.


Airlines worldwide have seen passenger traffic and cargo volume plummet as a result of the spreading virus and travel restrictions, leaving them cash-strapped. Many carriers are parking jets and some are deferring aircraft deliveries from this year, dealing another blow to Boeing's business.

In this March 27, 2019, file photo, a worker enters a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane during a brief media tour of Boeing’s 737 assembly facility in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

"Boeing's going to need some help," President Trump said Monday a White House press briefing. "Obviously the airlines are going to have a problem, but the airlines aren't going to be buying from Boeing or from anybody else right now because of this difficulty."

The Chicago-based plane-maker said last week it supports $60 billion in government aid for aerospace manufacturers.

"We appreciate the support of the President and the Administration for the 2.5 million jobs and 17,000 suppliers that Boeing relies on to remain the number one US exporter, and we look forward to working with the Administration and Congress as they consider legislation and the appropriate policies," the company said in a statement.

But Boeing's troubles extend further than the current coronavirus pandemic. The company already faced problems stemming from two fatal crashes involving its Boeing 737 Max jet, contributing, along with the coronavirus pandemic, to its stock losing more than 70 percent of its value this year. Dennis Muilenburg ultimately lost his job as a result of the Max crisis.

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