United Technologies and Honeywell plan $40 bn merger

Adding to the growing list of mergers and acquisitions this year comes the news that United Technologies and Honeywell International, two of the biggest US conglomerates, are in the final stages of talks for a merger valued at an estimated $40 billion.

United Technologies (UT), a widely diversified group, manufactures Otis lifts, Carrier air-conditioners, Pratt & Whitney aero-engines and Sikorsky helicopters. Honeywell, on the other hand, spans aerospace components, industrial controls and performance materials. Although both groups are of fairly equal size, it is understood that UT would be the senior partner in the merger. At current prices, United Technologies is valued at around $34bn, while Honeywell is worth $29bn.

Under the deal, UT chairman and chief executive George David will run the enlarged company as chief executive, while Michael Bonsignore, his counterpart at Honeywell, will become chairman.

Both groups have big aerospace operations and their overlap there should lead to significant cost savings.