Aerospace & Defense Insights: UTC set to win EU approval for $23 billion Rockwell Collins deal

(Reuters) – U.S. aerospace and industrial company United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) is set to win EU approval for the largest aerospace deal in history, a $23 billion bid for avionics maker Rockwell Collins (COL.N).

  • The deal, announced in September last year, would create a new player in the top echelon of suppliers to Boeing (BA.N), Airbus (AIR.PA), Bombardier (BBDb.TO) and other plane makers.
  • The takeover would give UTC, maker of Pratt & Whitney jet engines, more leverage to resist pressure from plane makers seeking price cuts.
  • Rockwell Collins’ software capability would also give UTC an edge in data crunching that allows airlines to spot problems in engines and other components before they fail
  • UTC has offered to sell assets to address the European Commission’s concerns, the people said, declining to provide details. Analysts had said the deal could face a bumpier road in the EU than in the United States because of the merged company’s size and market power.
  • The EU competition enforcer, which is scheduled to decide on the deal by May 4, and UTC declined to comment.
  • UTC cleared a hurdle last month after key client Boeing said it had provided consent to the deal after raising initial concerns.
  • Analysts said the combined company could make more than 50 percent of the systems content on a Boeing 787 aircraft by dollar value.
  • A source close to Airbus had told Reuters it had concerns about the merger.
  • Problems at Pratt & Whitney have delayed European aircraft deliveries, and Airbus has publicly warned UTC to focus on delivering jet engines on time.
  • Rockwell Collins’ (COL.N) businesses are in avionics, seats and plane interiors. This is the second engines-to-seating supplier deal after French jet engine maker Safran (SAF.PA) acquired seat maker Zodiac Aerospace (ZODFF.PK) last year.
  • The combined company is expected to reorganize its divisions, including related to procurement and parts sourcing