Rockwell Collins acquired by United Technologies

Deal will create new business division called Collins Aerospace Systems

Rockwell Collins headquarters in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Rockwell Collins headquarters in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

A Connecticut company will acquire the largest employer in Cedar Rapids in what several sources call the biggest aerospace deal in history.

United Technologies Corp. announced Monday evening it will acquire Rockwell Collins for $23 billion, before debt. Including the assumption of Rockwell’s debt, the acquisition is valued at $30 billion, according to a news release.

The deal will combine two players in the nation’s aerospace industry. Rockwell makes avionics technology, such as radar systems and recently acquired a company that manufactures interior products, such as airline seats. A division of United Technologies, meanwhile, makes aircraft engines and other parts.

Once complete, Rockwell and a segment of United Technologies, UTC Aerospace Systems, will combine into a new division named Collins Aerospace Systems.

Rockwell Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman Kelly Ortberg will be the chief executive of Collins Aerospace Systems.

“The combination will enable us to compete more effectively for future business through continued investments in innovation, world-class integrated product offerings and the ability to retain the top talent in the industry,” Ortberg said in a statement Monday.

The acquisition is expected to close within the third quarter of 2018.

It was not immediately clear Monday night how the acquisition would affect Rockwell employees or Cedar Rapids’ status as the company’s headquarters. Rockwell has about 8,000 employees in the city.


“We have demonstrated we can successfully integrate large acquisitions into our business and I have full confidence that the team has the capability to do it again,” United Technologies Chairman and CEO Greg Hayes said in a statement.

The acquisition of Rockwell is the largest deal in the aerospace industry, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported the news before an official announcement was made.

It also comes just months after Rockwell finished an $8.6 billion purchase of B/E Aerospace, a Florida company that makes airline interior products.

The deal still requires approval from Rockwell shareholders and regulatory agencies.

Bloomberg News first had reported a possible deal on Aug. 5.

• Headquarters: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

• Chief executive officer: Kelly Ortberg

• Employees: 30,000 globally.

• Annual sales: $5.26 billion.

• Annual net income: $728 million.

• What they do: Maker of aerospace and aviation technology, such as cabin displays and radar systems. Rockwell recently acquired a company that makes products for plane interiors, such as airline seats.

About United Technologies

• Headquarters: Farmington, Conn.

• Chief executive officer: Gregory Hayes.

• Employees: 202,000.

• Annual sales $57.24 billion.

• Annual net income: $5.43 billion

• What they do: A multinational conglomerate whose business divisions include aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney, elevator manufacturer Otis Elevator Co., and aerospace products supplier UTC Aerospace Systems

Sources: Rockwell Collins; United Technologies Corp., Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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