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United Technologies says no to Honeywell merger

United Technologies chief executive Greg Hayes said Tuesday that a merger with Honeywell would not work.

[NEW YORK] United Technologies chief executive Greg Hayes said Tuesday that a merger with Honeywell would not work.

After weeks of discussions, Mr Hayes said in a CNBC television interview, "what became apparent to us is that it just can't happen, can't happen from a regulatory standpoint, from a customer standpoint."

"There's no path forward that we could see opportunistic," he added.

"It ain't gonna happen." CNBC had reported Monday that Honeywell initiated the merger talks within the last two weeks, offering United Technologies a premium in stock and cash.

A deal would create an industrial technology giant with about US$95 billion in annual sales.

But there had been some concern that the merger would not clear antitrust review, given that both companies are major suppliers to Boeing and Airbus, according to reports.

Later Tuesday after markets had closed, Honeywell made clear it was still interested in a tie-up which it said could result in US$3.5 billion in annual cost savings.

"We do not see the regulatory process as a material obstacle to a transaction. In fact, a combination would benefit our customers and enhance our ability to offer a more comprehensive and compelling suite of technologies to serve their needs," the company said in a statement.

"A combined Honeywell and United Technologies would maintain a strong investment grade rating, and have higher free cash flow and a rapid deleveraging profile." But it stopped short of saying whether it would make an offer for United Technologies, which has a US$76.6 billion market valuation.

United Technologies shares finished down 0.8 per cent at US$91.60, while Honeywell rose 0.9 per cent to US$103.64.

The two sides have reportedly held intermittent merger talks over the last year or so.

Besides aerospace, Honeywell has businesses in automation and controls and advanced materials. United Technologies's businesses include Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines, Otis elevators and heating and climate control products.