Report: UTC Closing In On $20 Billion Purchase of Rockwell Collins

United Technologies Corp. is closing in on a deal to buy aerospace manufacturer Rockwell Collins Inc. for more than $20 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The companies are discussing a per-share price for Rockwell of $140 or less and could come to an agreement as soon as this weekend, the newspaper reported, citing anonymous sources.

The speculation lifted the share price of both companies by about 2 percent. If the deal ultimately goes through it would create one of the world’s biggest aircraft-equipment makers.

The Wall Street Journal report included the disclaimer that acquisition talks could fail or the expected price could change.

United Technologies has transformed its portfolio in the past five years, beginning with its $16.5 billion purchase of Goodrich Corp., a North Carolina-based aerospace manufacturer, in 2012. That was the largest deal ever for United Technologies.

The Farmington-based conglomerate brushed aside an advance last year. It engaged with rival Honeywell International Inc. in “preliminary, exploratory conversations” about a merger, but the talks ended, UTC said, over concerns about antitrust regulations, customer opposition and how the companies would be valued.

United Technologies is among the biggest private employers in Connecticut, though it was reduced in size when it sold helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft to Lockheed Martin Corp. in 2015 for $9 billion.

UTC has invested heavily in its next-generation geared turbo fan engine made by subsidiary Pratt & Whitney. Production has endured problems that forced delivery delays to customers, by UTC executives have been bullish about what they see as an expansion of air travel in the coming decades.

UTC has a market value of $93.56 billion and Rockwell Collins, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has a value of $21.25 billion.

Rockwell specializes in cockpit displays and communications systems for passenger and military jets. In April, it paid about $6 billion for B/E Aerospace Inc., a maker of plane seats and interiors.

Analyst…

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