In a surprise announcement, Farmington-based United Technologies said Sunday evening it’s merging with another aerospace giant, Raytheon. The combined company's headquarters will be in Raytheon's home state of Massachusetts, marking the seismic loss of a homegrown giant for Connecticut.
After the all-stock deal, UTC shareholders will own 57 percent of the new entity -- but the United Technologies name will disappear. The new company will be known as Raytheon Technologies Corporation. The merger will happen after UTC has spun out its non-aerospace companies -- Carrier Air Conditioning and Otis Elevator, a move that’s already well underway.
The combined company will be one of the biggest aerospace corporations in the world and will have annual revenues of around $74 billion.
While the new company will have its headquarters in the Boston area, it's not yet clear exactly what the deal will mean for UTC's huge Connecticut workforce. UTC currently employs around 19,000 people in the Nutmeg State, including at major manufacturing sites for jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney.
“The combination of United Technologies and Raytheon will define the future of aerospace and defense,” said United Technologies CTO Greg Hayes in a statement issued Sunday evening. “By joining forces, we will have unsurpassed technology and expanded R&D capabilities that will allow us to invest through business cycles and address our customers’ highest priorities. Merging our portfolios will also deliver cost and revenue synergies that will create long-term value for our customers and shareowners.”
The news is a blow to Connecticut's status as a home for one of the world's most successful Fortune 500 companies. Governor Ned Lamont tried to sound an upbeat note in his own press statement.
“UTC and its subsidiaries, including Pratt & Whitney, Otis Elevator, and Collins Aerospace, continue to be an important part of Connecticut’s fabric," said Lamont. "It’s important to note that nearly all of UTC’s 19,000 employees will remain in Connecticut, with roughly 100 moving to the new headquarters. I’ve spoken directly with Greg Hayes and made it clear that Connecticut will always be open should things change, as they often do. This serves as reminder that we live in an increasingly competitive economy, domestically and internationally."
First District Representative John Larson, whose district includes Pratt & Whitney's East Hartford headquarters, said he's been reassured by UTC that its manufacturing base will remain strong in Connecticut.
"As we await more information, our number one concern is UTC employees," said Larson in a statement. "We will be reaching out to them, as they are understandably anxious about what effects this will have on the workforce, and will do anything we can to support them.”
UTC and Raytheon are scheduled to give a webcast Monday to give more details of the deal.