Honeywell Drops Bid for United Technologies

'Continuing to try to negotiate with an unwilling partner is inconsistent with our disciplined acquisition process," said Honeywell's CEO.
Katie Kuehner-HebertMarch 1, 2016

Honeywell on Tuesday said that it was dropping its $90 billion takeover bid for rival United Technologies because of the target board’s unwillingness to negotiate in the face of what they believe would be intense regulatory and customer opposition — something Honeywell vehemently denies would actually happen.

The Morris Plains, N.J.-based manufacturer said that both firms have agreed in the recent past that “the industrial logic was compelling in a very doable transaction.”

“From both an industrial logic and shareholder value perspective, Honeywell and United Technologies are a great match and that is why the two companies have been talking about a combination for more than 15 years,” Honeywell’s chairman and chief executive Dave Cote said in a press release. “We made a full and fair offer that would have greatly benefited both sets of shareowners. However, continuing to try to negotiate with an unwilling partner is inconsistent with our disciplined acquisition process.”

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The merger would have created a $160 billion “titan,” with a range of products like thermostats and advanced jet engines, according to The New York Times/Deal Book.

Honeywell contends that “considerable value” would have been added through $3.5 billion of “very achievable cost synergies” and “application of Honeywell management practices, especially our extensive software capability and cost management that would support needed product reinvestment.”

However, several major customers of the two companies, including Airbus and Boeing, had publicly opposed the deal.

“Honeywell’s only remaining option is to convince [United Technologies’] shareholders to put pressure on management to restart talks,” the Times said. “Shares of United Technologies have risen 9.5% since it confirmed that the two companies had held merger talks, but Honeywell’s shares have fallen more than 5%”

Honeywell’s shares were up 3.47% in early morning trading on March 1. Shares of United Technologies were down 2.4%.