Exclusive: United Tech weighs $1 billion Pratt asset sale: sources

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:50pm IST

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NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) is looking to sell power generation assets within its Pratt and Whitney subsidiary in a deal that could fetch around $1 billion, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The business, called Pratt & Whitney Power Systems, manufactures industrial gas turbines and geothermal power systems based on Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engine technology, and helps generate electricity for businesses and cities.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is advising United Technologies on the potential divestiture, one of the people said.

The three sources spoke on Monday. All of them asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. A United Technologies spokesman declined to comment and Deutsche Bank also declined to comment.

The potential sale is part of the diversified industrial conglomerate's effort to focus more on the aerospace and propulsion segments and move away from businesses that are not seen as core, according to the people familiar with the matter.

"While this is a good and profitable business, it's not part of the core aerospace and propulsion business," said a second source, adding that some potential buyers were already showing interest in the business, although it was still early in the process.

A third source said the Pratt & Whitney power systems business needed some investment to get to the next phase of its growth plan, but United Tech preferred to put its capital more directly into the aerospace propulsion sector.

The sale would likely occur after United Technologies closes its planned $16.5 billion purchase of aircraft components maker Goodrich Corp GR.N, that person added.

Pratt & Whitney Power Systems has more than 2,000 industrial gas turbines installed in some 50 countries, according to its website.

United Technologies is already selling several other noncore businesses in an effort to fund its Goodrich takeover, including the industrial businesses of its Hamilton Sundstrand unit that make pumps and compressors.

Hartford, Connecticut-based United Technologies also owns Otis elevators and escalators, as well as helicopter maker Sikorsky, among other holdings.

Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes also said last week that the company has recently completed a review of its fire and security operations and is considering selling some of that portfolio as well.

Shares of United Technologies were up 0.7 percent at $75.00 on Monday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim in New York and Andrea Shalal-Esa in Washington; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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