The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that when Bombardier first announced last month it might sell its transportation unit to focus on business jets, analysts knocked the strategy, arguing it would leave the company exposed to the highly cyclical aerospace industry. The Globe's Andrew Willis writes, however, that Bombardier's decision to sell its transport division to France's Alstom for $8.2-billion (U.S.) and focus on the aviation business is in keeping a recipe that has worked for the company in the past. Back in 2003, the Street was giving Bombardier grief over the capital and management time devoted to what seemed like the ultimate in discretionary products: Ski-Doos and Sea-Doos. In response, the controlling Beaudoin family spun out the recreational vehicle division under the BRP banner. The Beaudoin clan and private equity firm Bain Capital bought the division for $1.23-billion 17 years ago. BRP shares are up threefold since the initial public offering, making this a huge win for investors. BRP is now 50 per cent more valuable than Bombardier. Mr. Willis says that this tells you the Beaudoin offspring, and the managers they hire, know something about selling expensive toys to wealthy customers.
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