Honeywell to Spin off $7.5B in Businesses

The company's aerospace unit will remain in its portfolio despite pressure from activist investors to spin it off.
Matthew HellerOctober 10, 2017

Honeywell said Tuesday it would spin off its turbo charger unit and home heating and security businesses to focus on “high-growth businesses” in six key markets.

The spin-offs are the result of a comprehensive review of Honeywell’s portfolio by CEO Darius Adamczyk, but do not include its aerospace division, which activist investor Third Point had been pushing the company to spin off.

Aerospace accounted for 36% of total revenue in 2016 and Third Point had said it could generate $20 billion in shareholder value if sold.

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“The remaining Honeywell portfolio will consist of high-growth businesses in six attractive industrial end markets, each aligned to global mega trends including energy efficiency, infrastructure investment, urbanization and safety,” Adamczyk said in a news release. “These businesses are best positioned to leverage Honeywell synergies from our technologies, financial and business models, and talent.”

In a conference call Tuesday, the chief executive said aerospace is poised for growth, with global tensions on the rise due to conflicts in the Middle East and a potential conflict with North Korea.

“I am thrilled by what we have in aerospace,” Adamczyk said. “It’s a great player and it’s going to continue to win the marketplace.”

As Reuters reports, Adamczyk, like his peers at other industrial conglomerates, “has been under pressure to pull apart a portfolio of disparate businesses that includes automotive turbo chargers, burglar alarms and the Xtratuf boots popular in Alaska’s fishing industry.”

Honeywell said the new “Homes and Global Distribution business” will have annualized revenue of about $4.5 billion and 13,000 employees, while “Transportation Systems,” which will offer turbocharger technologies for a broad range of engine types, will have annualized revenue of about $3 billion and 6,500 employees.

“The spun businesses will be better positioned to maximize share owner value through focused strategic decision making and capital allocation tailored for their end markets,” Adamczyk said.

Third Point appeared to accept the decision to hold onto the aerospace business. “We are pleased that the board and management chose to conduct a thorough portfolio review and agreed that Honeywell should narrow its business focus,” it said.