CAE scores 250million investment from Ottawa for nextgen simulator

MONTREAL — Flight simulator company CAE is moving ahead with a $700-million project to develop its next generation of simulation platforms over five years — with help from the federal government.Denis Lebel, the minister responsible for economic development for Quebec, announced a $250 million loan.In making the announcement during a visit to CAE’s Montreal headquarters Thursday, Lebel said the money will help the world’s largest maker of aircraft simulators to keep its competitive edge.“The market is changing quickly and with this support, they will be able to play the game against any competitors,” he told reporters.Stephane Lefebvre, CAE’s chief financial officer, said there’s a 15-year repayment period for the $250 million loan, but it is not interest free.He said the company will begin to repay the loan over 15 years, starting after 2020.Lefebvre was evasive when asked if the project would create any additional jobs.“It’s highly dependent on the market and the number of simulators that we’ll be able to sell over the next few years,” he said. “We’ll maintain highly skilled employees, but we believe we’ll also create some jobs.”The money is being provided under Canada’s Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative. Better known as SADI, the program supports research and development in the aerospace, defence, space and security industries.CAE flight simulators are used around the world to train airline and military pilots and cockpit crews.The company also provides other training equipment and services for the civil aviation and defence markets.CAE employs 4,000 people in 15 locations across Canada, most of them in Montreal, and around 4,000 in the rest of the world.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, CAE’s shares (TSX:CAE) were little-changed on Thursday.

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