The Department of Justice (DOJ) has agreed to sign off on United Technology Corp’s (UTC) $30 billion proposed acquisition of Rockwell Collins provided that two of their overlapping businesses are divested, the government agency announced yesterday. This marks one of the final key approvals remaining for the deal to close, with clearance from Chinese authorities now remaining. UTC chairman and CEO Gregory Hayes told investors last month that he expected Chinese approval shortly after DOJ clearance.
Under the proposed settlement detailed by DOJ, UTC is to sell Rockwell Collins’s pneumatic ice protection systems and trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuators (THSAs) business. Hayes had conceded to investors that the sale of the actuators business had “taken us longer to find a buyer” than originally anticipated, but added, “That’s behind us now,” noting the announcement that came out earlier last month that Safran had signed an agreement to acquire Rockwell Collins’s actuators, pilot controls, and special products business. That sale is expected to be finalized in the first half of next year.
“Today’s remedy ensures that customers continue to benefit from competition in the supply of these two aircraft components that are critical to safety,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the DOJ's antitrust division. “The remedy allows the divestiture buyers to compete vigorously to provide high-quality systems and service to customers.”
Similarly, in its May 4 approval, the European Commission had called for the divestiture of overlapping businesses in the areas of actuators, pilot controls, ice protection, and oxygen systems.
Once completed the sale will bring together two aerospace giants encompassing UTC's portfolio covering power generation, propulsion systems, and landing systems, and Rockwell Collins' full avionics and cabin interior product lines.