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EU set to OK Rockwell, B/E deal: sources

$6.4 million purchase could be approved without conditions

Rockwell Collins headquarters in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Rockwell Collins headquarters in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

BRUSSELS — European Union antitrust regulators are set to approve, without conditions, Cedar Rapids-based aircraft component maker Rockwell Collins’s $6.4 billion bid for aircraft interior maker B/E Aerospace, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The deal will boost Rockwell’s exposure to a record pipeline of commercial aerospace equipment purchases and expand its relatively modest presence in lucrative aftermarkets.

“About 30 percent of widebody aircraft are leased to the airlines. This is a lucrative market that we’re just not able to serve with our product line,” Kelly Ortberg, Rockwell Collins president and CEO, said in an interview with The Gazette in October.

“A typical widebody aircraft goes through multiple interior retrofits throughout its life cycle.”

The companies have little product overlaps, with Rockwell active in avionics and flight control systems while Wellington, Fla.-based B/E Aerospace is a major supplier of aircraft seats, galleys, lighting and lavatories.

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