United Technologies and Raytheon to create $120bn aerospace and defence giant

Deal will create conglomerate which spans commercial aviation and defense procurement

Raytheon and United Technologies have agreed to merge, the companies said in a joint statement. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Raytheon and United Technologies have agreed to merge, the companies said in a joint statement. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

 

US engineering and electronics company United Technologies has agreed to combine its aerospace business with US contractor Raytheon and create a new company worth about $121 billion(€107 billion), in what would be the sector’s biggest ever merger.

The deal would reshape the competitive landscape by forming a conglomerate which spans commercial aviation and defence procurement.

United Technologies provides primarily commercial aircraft makers with electronics, communications and other equipment, whereas Raytheon mainly supplies the US government with military aircraft and missile equipment. While United Technologies and Raytheon have some common customers, their business overlap is limited, an argument the companies plan to make once US antitrust regulators start scrutinising the merger.

However, the two major commercial aircraft makers, Boeing and Airbus, as well as the Pentagon, have been known to use their significant purchasing power to seek concessions from their suppliers and may not welcome a potential lessening in competition among them.

When United Technologies rebuffed an acquisition offer from Honeywell International in 2016, United Technologies chief executive Greg Hayes justified the decision partly by predicting that Boeing and Airbus would never accept having a supplier that would “build the plane from tip to tail”.

Aerospace business

United Technologies has said it is on track to separate its Carrier air conditioning and Otis elevator businesses, leaving the company focused on its aerospace business through its $23 billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins, which was completed in 2018, and the Pratt & Whitney engines business. Chinese authorities scrutinised the acquisition of aircraft parts maker Rockwell Collins closely, given the companies’ footprint in that country’s market. This resulted in the deal closing in November 2018, as opposed to the targeted third quarter.

Trade tensions between the US and China were blamed at least partly by analysts for that delay, but a source close to the deal said the companies did not expect this to be repeated because Raytheon does not do business in China.

Under the deal, Raytheon shareholders will receive 2.3348 shares in the combined company for each Raytheon share. The merger is expected to result in more than $1 billion in cost synergies by the end of the fourth year, the companies said.

United Technologies shareholders will own about 57 per cent of the combined business, called Raytheon Technologies Corporation, which will be led by Hayes. Raytheon shareholders will own the remaining stake, and Raytheon chief executive Tom Kennedy will be named executive chairman. The companies negotiated the terms over several months, according to the source, who requested anonymity discussing the confidential deliberations. The deal has been structured so that no shareholder of either company will receive a premium.

United Technologies and Raytheon have market capitalisations of $114 billion and $52 billion, respectively. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020. The newly created company is expected to return between $18 billion and $20 billion of capital to shareholders in the first three years after the deal’s completion, the companies said. The new company will also assume about $26 billion in net debt, they added. – Reuters