Throughout 2009, United Technologies Corp Chief Executive Louis Chenevert’s mantra was that the diversified U.S. manufacturer was a “willing buyer” with a $2 billion takeover budget and that all it needed was to find a “willing seller.”
Its deal last week to buy General Electric Co’s security business for $1.82 billion answered the question of what the world’s largest maker of elevators and air conditioners was going to do with its M&A budget.
But one question was left unanswered — what of Textron Inc’s Bell helicopter unit? An executive at United Tech’s Sikorsky arm in March said that a merger with Bell was an “interesting hypothesis.”
Textron never commented on the idea.
Shareholders may have gotten their answer to that question on Wednesday.
“There aren’t many helicopter manufacturers out there and the ones that are out there aren’t selling,” Greg Hayes, United Tech’s chief financial officer, told investors, when asked about where the Hartford, Connecticut-based company would be focusing its M&A energy.
Once United Tech closes its takeover of GE’s security arm — which will be its biggest deal since 2005, when it bought Kidde — the company is probably “pretty much done” making big buys in that sector.