GE steals Honeywell away from United Tech.

By : |October 24, 2000 0

A bidding war has erupted over control of one of the most renowned names in
the computer industry; Honeywell. Honeywell was reportedly within hours of
announcing a $36 billion merger agreement with United Technologies when General
Electric said it also has an interest in the company. Germany’s Siemens and Tyco
International were also reportedly talking with Honeywell.

The United-Honeywell deal was effectively torpedoed when GE Chairman Jack
Welch, at the 11th hour, called Honeywell’s board on Friday morning to discuss a
bid that would top the offer from United Technologies.

Once a maker of mainframe computers, Honeywell, headquartered in Morris
Township, New Jersey, is a leader in avionics electronics, as well as
turbochargers, specialty chemicals and automated control systems.

The surprise development came just one day after United Technologies and
Honeywell confirmed they were in merger talks. It was CNBC, a General Electric
subsidiary that first reported the talks between United Technologies and
Honeywell last Thursday. A CNBC reporter then broke the news to Welch during an
interview on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Welch was surprised to learn of the United-Honeywell deal and told CNBC he
would have to think it over. Less than 24 hours later, he told Honeywell GE
would top United’s bid. Siemens, also mentioned to be in discussions with
Honeywell, was reportedly willing to pay $1.5 billion for Honeywell’s industrial
control and automation business. But the German company is not expected to make
a bid for all of Honeywell.

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