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Boeing Okays Rockwell Collins acquisition

Airplane maker said it has reached agreements with Rockwell and its buyer

A worker carries out the final preparations on an engine for the Boeing 737-900 at their assembly operations in Renton, Washington, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Andy Clark
A worker carries out the final preparations on an engine for the Boeing 737-900 at their assembly operations in Renton, Washington, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Andy Clark

Airplane maker Boeing has signed off on the acquisition of Rockwell Collins after expressing initial hesitations back when the deal was announced.

“Following productive discussions with United Technologies and Rockwell Collins, Boeing has reached win-win agreements with each of them that bring value to our customers and support our companies’ competitiveness. As part of the agreements, we have provided consent to their transaction under our contracts,” Boeing said in a statement this week.

United Technologies Corp. announced last September that it plans to acquire Rockwell for $30 billion, including debt. At the time, Boeing and another airplane manufacturer, Airbus, said they were skeptical the combination would result in savings for their businesses.

This week, however, Boeing said it had reached agreements with both UTC and Rockwell and gave the deal its OK.

“At a time of record industry production, it is critically important that we have business arrangements with all of our suppliers that drive increased focus on meeting their cost, schedule and quality commitments to Boeing and our customers,” Boeing said.

Boeing’s statement came after UTC held an investor meeting last week during which UTC Aerospace Systems President Dave Gitlin said UTC Aerospace and Rockwell had signed deals “that provide for consent” of the acquisition.

“We have been laser-focused on finding a solution that was a win-win and I’m really happy to tell you that we’ve been able to achieve that,” Gitlin said.

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Rockwell declined to comment on Boeing’s statement Tuesday. A spokesman for Airbus said the company did not have an updated comment on the acquisition.

UTC’s acquisition would have Rockwell combine with UTC Aerospace to form Collins Aerospace Systems. The companies plan to put the executive offices for Collins Aerospace in Florida, while maintaining specific business divisions in current locations, including putting two in Cedar Rapids. Current Rockwell Chairman, CEO and President Kelly Ortberg would lead Collins Aerospace as CEO with Gitlin serving as president.

The acquisition is expected to close later in the year, possibly sometime this summer.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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