Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has confirmed it is in talks to acquire the CRJ series of jets from Bombardier Aerospace (BBA, Montréal Trudeau).

MHI is the parent firm of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation which is currently developing its own line of regional jets, the MRJ70 and the MRJ90, and is hoping to debut the latter in 2020.

"It has been reported in media that MHI is in advanced negotiations to acquire Bombardier’s CRJ program," it said in a statement. "It is true that we are in discussions relating to a possible transaction involving Bombardier's regional jet program with strict adherence to the applicable competition rules and regulations. However, neither has any corporate decision been made, nor are there any prospects as to the contents of such a transaction."

For its part, Bombardier confirmed the talks but refused to comment on their current status.

"Before any agreement can be reached further review and analysis by Bombardier management and approval by Bombardier's Board of Directors are required, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. must complete its due diligence review and own analysis and approval process, which are outside of Bombardier's control. There can be no assurance that any such discussions will ultimately lead to an agreement," it said in a separate statement.

As part of the winding down of its commercial aviation activities, the Canadian manufacturer sold off a controlling stake in its C Series Aircraft production line to Airbus last year. Following that, it recently completed the sale of its Dash 8 product line to Longview Aviation Capital Corp. which has, in turn, incorporated it into its recently launched subsidiary, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada.

ironically, Bombardier reinitiated legal proceedings against Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America (MACA) earlier this month claiming the poaching of its staff by MACA had lead to delays in the certification of the CSeries (now A220) and the Global 7000, now 7500, line of jets.