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Spirit Aerosystems To Sell Its Tulsa, McAlester Facilities

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Spirit AeroSystems announced Tuesday it is selling everything it owns in Oklahoma.

The company employs about 2,700 people at two plants in Tulsa and McAlester.

Spirit AeroSystems has been here in Tulsa for the last eight years and the company's CEO said the site is performing very well, but it's time to see if it's a better fit for another company.

CEO Larry Lawson said the employees at the Tulsa plant are dedicated, but a difficult decision had to be made.

Spirit Aerosystems news releases.

In July, Spirit Aerosystems announced it was laying off about 360 salaried support and management employees in Kansas and Oklahoma. Sources told News On 6 those layoffs included about 100 people in Tulsa.

The company announced Tuesday morning it's selling the facility, along with its McAlester operations. That includes contracts, equipment, everything.

In a letter to employees, Lawson said Spirit wants to set itself apart in the "aerostructure marketplace" and its

Oklahoma assets may fit better with another company.

Lawson told investors during a Tuesday morning conference call they'll listen to all offers.

"We will get offers and, as you know, you package these deals up in different ways based on the interest of the buyers," he said. "Some folks may have some interest and others different interests and so we will work with all interested parties to come up with the best overall arrangement."

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett said he found out about the plan Tuesday morning through an email from Spirit.

He said he would like to know more about why the company is selling its Oklahoma operations and said Spirit's employees deserve for a sale to happen fast.

"They need to be treated fairly," Bartlett said. "The loyalty that they exhibited to the company has been well known and well spoken of, now the company needs to show loyalty and respect to those employees and their families."

Spirit's CEO says Tulsa brought in 12 percent of the company's $3 billion in revenue through the second quarter of this year.

He says it's possible that Spirit may retain ownership of the Oklahoma sites and hopes to have all the major decisions made by the end of the year.

Spirit pays the airport trust $600,000 a year in rent.

Mayor Bartlett says the company currently has three separate leases with the trust that go through 2029.

7/25/2013 Related Story: Spirit Aerosystems Lays Off 360 Workers In Oklahoma, Kansas

Mike Neal, President of the Tulsa Regional Chamber statement:

"Spirit AeroSystems has been a valued employer in the Tulsa region for more than 8 years. While the company has announced it will explore plans to sell its Oklahoma operations, there are many variables at play and it is too early to speculate what will be the final outcome.

 In the event the company sells its Tulsa operations, the Chamber, City of Tulsa and other workforce and economic development partners across the region will remain engaged in encouraging buyers to continue investment in the Tulsa operations and our highly-skilled aerospace and manufacturing workforce currently working at the plant. Many of these same experienced workers have long been a part of our community, working at the plant years before Spirit's arrival under companies like Boeing and prior to that, Rockwell and McDonnell Douglas.

 We are encouraged to hear Spirit's CEO Larry Lawson publicly acknowledge today the Tulsa plant is performing very well and improving. We realize companies across the world routinely explore possible divestitures for a multitude of reasons, and we will remain hopeful this process will result in a positive outcome for the Tulsa region."

The company employs 350 in McAlester.  City officials say Spirit Aerosystems is a major employer in their community.

McAlester Mayor Steve Harrison statement:

"The Spirit Aerosystems manufacturing facility in McAlester has a long history of providing quality parts for the aerospace industry. The quality of its products is indicative of the dedication of its workforce. As one of McAlester's major employers, Spirit is a significant contributor to our local economy as well as being an active and supportive corporate citizen.

Any potential new owner of Spirit's McAlester operation will be acquiring a very valuable asset."

The company also announced it is delaying release of its second quarter earnings.

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