November 30, 2018

Farmington's UTC expanding Florida presence for aerospace execs

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
Employees of UTC work on an engine.
HBJ File Photo
UTC's Farmington headquarters.

Farmington's United Technologies Corp., which announced plans this week to separate into three companies by 2020, is expanding its Florida presence to house executive offices for its growing aerospace division, the company confirmed Friday.

The 84-year-old conglomerate announced plans Monday to spin off its Otis elevator and Carrier building systems businesses, the same day it completed its $30 billion buyout of Iowa-based aviation systems maker Rockwell Collins.

UTC says the acquisition will make its aerospace division -- including UTC Aerospace Systems, jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney and newly acquired Rockwell Collins -- one of the nation's largest. The aerospace unit will be the largest company known as United Technologies.

Earlier this year, UTC said it leased an entire floor of the waterfront Phillips Point tower in downtown West Palm Beach. The 16,000-square-foot space has room for about 30 employees, a UTC spokesman confirmed Friday. The Palm Beach Post first reported the lease agreement.

Rockwell Collins CEO and President Kelly Ortberg will be based at the Florida office, according to the report, which also said the chief executive paid $5 million for a 5,900-square-foot home in the area.

UTC established a major facility in northwestern Palm Beach County in 1958. Pratt employed 8,500 there during the 1980s, the report said.

As for UTC's decision to run each of its companies independently, CEO Gregory Hayes said earlier this week that investors drove the decision. Hayes, who took the lead executive post four years ago, said shareholders indicated the split offers each entity greater flexibility for new investments and divestitures.

Hayes said its Carrier division is currently looking at selling its $2.5 billion fire safety and security business.

In terms of its aerospace companies, Pratt & Whitney is currently headquartered in East Hartford, and UTC agreed to a $400 million tax incentive deal in 2014 in exchange for a promise to keep that headquarters in Connecticut for at least 15 years. Meantime, UTC Aerospace Systems, which is based in North Carolina, is combining with Rockwell Collins to form Collins Aerospace. As part of the restructuring, all three companies will join under the United Technologies umbrella.

This story has been updated

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