KITCHENER -- Bombardier, the company that built Waterloo Region’s ION trains, is selling its rail business in a deal worth $8.2 billion US.

The French transportation giant Alstom is acquiring the Quebec-based division.

The deal still needs to be approved by regulators but it's expected to close by early 2021.

Bombardier will now focus on building business jets in a bid to pay off its $9.3 billion debt.

The company says the sale of its rail division won’t impact Waterloo Region.

“This announcement does not in any way alter our existing or future commitments to customers,” says the company's senior advisor Kaven Delarosbil.

Bombardier will honour its contracts in terms of repairs and will keep its promise to pay for ION's delivery delays.

The Region of Waterloo says the amount owing is still being negotiated.

Bombardier currently employs more than 4,000 employees in Canada.

They have not yet said how many of those jobs will be impacted.

“The specifics of the operating model post-closing have yet to be fully agreed,” says Eric Prud’homme, the company’s head of External Communications and Public Affairs.