Boeing Co. BA, -0.65% is considering plans to raise more debt to bolster finances strained by the grounding of its 737 MAX, according to people familiar with the matter.
The aerospace giant isn’t running out of cash. Boeing had about $20 billion in available funds at the end of the September quarter, according to the company’s financial statements. But costs associated with the MAX crisis are rising.
Boeing faces compensation claims from airlines and families of the 346 victims of two MAX crashes over the past 15 months. This month, Boeing halted production of the plane, lowering some costs but pushing back the likely date at which payments for finished planes would resume.
Analysts expect Boeing to raise as much as $5 billion in additional debt to help cover expenditures that could top $15 billion in the first half of this year. In addition to spending on maintenance for the MAX’s stalled production facilities and finished planes, the company plans to close its $4 billion acquisition of an 80% stake in the Brazilian plane maker Embraer SA ’s commercial airliner business. Boeing also has to repay some existing debt and fund shareholder dividends.