UTC to sell Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne unit to GenCorp for $550 mn

United Technologies Corp (UTC), the $54-billion aerospace and defence contractor and maker of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, today agreed to sell its Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) unit to GenCorp Inc, a maker of aerospace propulsion systems, for $550 million.

The sale is part of the Connecticut-based company's plan to sell certain assets in order to fund its September 2011 proposed acquisition of rival Goodrich Corp for $16.5-billion.

UTC, which also owns the Otis brand of elevators and escalators, had earlier said that it would to sell its Rocketdyne space unit, Clipper Windpower and pump and compressor-making units of Hamilton Sundstrand aircraft components division in order to fund the acquisition.

''As previously announced, proceeds from the sale will be used to repay a portion of the short-term debt incurred to finance the proposed acquisition of Goodrich Corporation. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals,'' UTC said in a statement.

PWR, headquartered in Canoga Park, California, is a provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines.

PWR has been the power behind more than 1,600 launches and has been a key engine provider to the U S space programme since its inception. That service continues with launches that have included astronauts, cargo, and satellites vital to space exploration, worldwide communication, navigation, defense, research and development, and weather prediction.