Jet-engine manufacturer United Technologies Corp. is considering the possibility of acquiring Rockwell Collins Inc., a cockpit gear supplier, in a deal that would rank among the largest ever in the aerospace industry, reported Bloomberg in recent days citing people familiar with the matter.
Rockwell Collins has a market value of nearly US$ 20 billion, hence the transaction would top United Technologies’ own US$ 18 billion purchase of Goodrich Corp. in 2012. Last year, billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. completed the biggest aerospace deal to date when it bought Precision Castparts Corp. for US$ 37 billion.
The move seeks to wrest some power away from Boeing and Airbus as they squeeze suppliers, according to analysts consulted by Bloomberg. “You’d be creating an equipment supplier on a scale the world has never seen before,” said aerospace consultant Kevin Michaels. “It would be double the size of its nearest competitors,” he added.
Rockwell Collins owns a state-of-the-art facility in Mexicali, Baja California, where it manufactures communications and entertainment systems for commercial airliners and business and regional jets. With more than 100,000 square feet of production and warehouse space, this facility applies Lean principles to cellular production design for optimized workflow, improvement of quality and reduction of inventory.
United Technologies owns two manufacturing sites in Mexico. A production site also in Mexicali, Baja California, which builds different kinds of aero structures, including thrust reversers for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner nacelle system. Reversers for both the Rolls-Royce and General Electric engine variants of the Dreamliner are assembled there.
Also, the company operates in Guaymas, Sonora, a facility of its Engine & Environmental Control Systems division, where it produces blades and vanes for jet turbines.
In addition to these manufacturing sites the company operates a distribution center for commercial aircraft’s wheels and brakes in Mexico City, just outside the International Airport.