Business

United Technologies CEO: Closing Rockwell Collins deal is No. 1 priority

The chief executive spoke during an investor conference Friday

Building 124 on the Rockwell Collins headquarters campus is seen in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Building 124 on the Rockwell Collins headquarters campus is seen in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Even as United Technologies Corp. mulls a split, the company’s top goal this year is to finish its acquisition of Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins, its CEO said Friday.

“The first priority of UTC this year is to close on the Rockwell deal. We have to get that done. We have to get the integration underway. We have to get the costs out,” UTC CEO Greg Hayes said during an investor and analyst meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., that also was broadcast on UTC’s website.

Farmington, Conn.-based UTC is in the midst of purchasing Rockwell, Cedar Rapids’ largest employer, for $30 billion, including debt. Rockwell would combine with UTC Aerospace Systems, a division of UTC, to form Collins Aerospace Systems.

The deal is expected to close as early as this summer, a timeline UTC executives reiterated Friday.

“On the regulatory side, we remain on track. There have been no surprises,” said Dave Gitlin, the president of UTC Aerospace and future president of Collins Aerospace.

UTC’s board would review a possible breakup only after the Rockwell deal closes, Hayes said, echoing comments he had made in February. Even if the board decides to split the company,

it could take 18 to 24 months for that to happen, Hayes said.

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

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