Friday, 22 November, 2019

Trump ‘A Little Concerned’ About Raytheon Merger

The Raytheon logo is seen on a building in Annapolis Junction Maryland Raytheon and United Technologies Agree to Merge into the World's Second Largest Aerospace Company
Russell Knight | 12 June, 2019, 19:49

In what could be the biggest merger in the aerospace and defense industry, the United Technologies and Raytheon merger will create a new company worth about $121 billion.

"Under Secretary Ellen Lord is engaging with industry leadership to understand the implications and governance as a result of this acquisition", Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews, a department spokesman, said, referring to the Pentagon's acquisition chief in a statement Monday.

Echoing concerns that top Pentagon procurement officials have raised for years, the president said he is anxious that the deal would harm the military supply chain by giving government buyers fewer competitive options to turn to for individual weapons systems.

The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2020, following completion by United Technologies of the previously announced separation of its Otis and Carrier businesses, which Hayes said he hoped would be completed early next year.

Raytheon CEO Tom Kennedy downplayed this, saying that the two companies are mostly not competitive with one another in the first place, and will benefit from being able to combine their complementary technologies going forward. Only Boeing, with annual sales of $101bn, and Airbus, at $74bn, would be bigger.

A person familiar with the matter told the newspaper that United Technologies is likely to own a majority of the combined company.

"It's hard to negotiate when you have two companies and sometimes you get one bid", Trump said.

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The defense contractor Raytheon - now headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts - was originally founded in Cambridge in 1922. United Technologies has a current market value of $114 billion while Raytheon's is about $52 billion. "But I have to negotiate - meaning the United States has to buy things, does that make it less competitive?"

He identified aircraft control systems and cybersecurity as two areas where the combined firm, which will be known as "Raytheon Technologies", may see near-term impact within the federal government.

The companies' pitch also emphasized the upside in terms of technological breakthroughs through an $8 billion research and development budget, 60,000 engineers and 38,000 active patents.

Another wildcard in winning approval for the deal: the U.S. Department of Defense.

Shares of Raytheon were up 0.9% in late trading while United Technologies was down 2.7%. United Technologies' subsidiaries tend to operate as parts suppliers for other companies' prime contracts, and not as defense platform providers; Pratt & Whitney builds the engine that powers Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, for example. Mr Hayes will ascend to both roles three years after the deal closes.

In 2018 there were eight mergers exceeding $1 billion in value, including an all-stock deal between L3 Technologies and Harris and General Dynamics' acquisition of CSRA Inc., according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"We don't expect DoD to raise strong objections to the deal", though there may be small divestitures where there's overlap with businesses picked up with the Rockwell Collins purchase, analyst Byron Callan of Capital Alpha Partners wrote in a note Sunday.

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