U.S. approves United Tech purchase of Rockwell Collins


U.S. aerospace and industrial company United Technologies Corp has won U.S. approval to buy avionics maker Rockwell Collins Inc, as long as it sells certain assets, with Chinese approval of the deal still pending.

The acquisition, announced in September 2017, would be the largest in aerospace history and create a new player in the top echelon of suppliers to Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and other plane makers.

To win U.S. approval for the $23 billion deal, UTC agreed to sell two Rockwell Collins’ businesses – one that sells systems that de-ice planes and another that sells trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuators that help aircraft maintain altitude, the Justice Department said on Monday.

The deal won antitrust approval from the European Union in May, but it is still awaiting a go-ahead from Beijing.

UTC chief executive Gregory Hayes said in mid-September that the Chinese would not approve the proposed transaction until the Justice Department signed off on it.

China’s antitrust enforcers have already killed a massive deal this year. In July, frustrated with Chinese regulatory delays, Qualcomm let a merger agreement with NXP expire, scrapping the deal.

That said, Beijing has approved others, including Toshiba Corp’s sale of its chip unit for $18 billion to a consortium led by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital.