Rockwell Collins headquarters
Rockwell Collins headquarters in Iowa. Courtesy of the company

The massive aerospace merger announced by United Technologies Corporation and Rockwell Collins Monday has the potential to affect many parts of the United States, including the Southland.

Rockwell Collins, which is being taken over by UT in a $30 billion deal, has a plant in Tustin that employs a few hundred people, making what its website calls “state-of-the-art cabin electronics systems.”

UTC announced Monday a “definitive agreement” under which the Connecticut-based company will acquire airplane parts maker Rockwell Collins for $140 per share in cash and UTC stock for a total value of $30 billion, making it one of the biggest deals in aerospace history.

Attempts to reach the Tustin plant and the Rockwell corporate office were not immediately successful. There was no word if the merger may affect jobs at the Orange County facility.

UTC is a diverse firm that includes the Otis elevator brand and Pratt & Whitney. Rockwell Collins is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“This acquisition adds tremendous capabilities to our aerospace businesses and strengthens our complementary offerings of technologically advanced aerospace systems,” UTC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes said Monday. “Together, Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerospace Systems will enhance customer value in a rapidly evolving aerospace industry by making aircraft more intelligent and more connected.

The integrated companies’ expertise in developing electrical, mechanical and software solutions will allow us to deliver more innovative products and services and provide greater value to our customers and shareowners,” Hayes continued. “This combination will also create new opportunities for the talented employees of both companies to advance innovation in a growing and dynamic industry. Importantly, UTC and Rockwell Collins share cultures of mutual trust and respect, accountability and teamwork that will allow us to work together to achieve our common goals.”

“We are extremely pleased to announce this compelling transaction with UTC which is a testament to the value we have created for Rockwell Collins’ employees, customers and shareowners,” said Kelly Ortberg, chairman, president and CEO of Rockwell Collins. 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. We look forward to the next chapter in Rockwell Collins’ long and proud history, as part of UTC.”

Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerospace Systems will be integrated to create a new business unit named Collins Aerospace Systems, the companies said. Kelly Ortberg will function as CEO with Dave Gitlin serving as president and COO.

“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.” Hayes said. “Once we have completed the integration of Rockwell Collins and made progress towards reducing leverage back to historical levels, we will have an opportunity to explore a full range of strategic options for UTC.”

—City News Service

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