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Monday, June 24
The Indiana Daily Student

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General Electric makes aircraft merger

The battle for Dow component Honeywell International Inc. heated up Friday, as United Technologies Corporation announced it would not be acquiring the company. Honeywell confirmed its merger discussions with United Technologies were finished Oct. 20, and announced it was considering alternative proposals. \nReuters reported that General Electric stepped in and sealed a deal for Honeywell Saturday. The deal is supposedly worth around $44 billion in stock, or around $55 dollars a share. The proposed acquisition will be the largest ever for GE.\nHoneywell is a leading maker of aircraft electronics, as well as specialty chemicals and automated control systems. According to The Associated Press, the company has about 120,000 employees worldwide and earned $1.54 billion on revenue of $23.74 billion in 1999. Honeywell compliments GE, a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines. GE has many other interests including GE Capital and NBC. If the merger is completed, the company will have an estimated total revenue of $154 billion dollars.\nNicole Parent, a vice president and analyst at Banc of America Securities, told The Associated Press the combined company would have an "amazing fit in aerospace, industrial automated power systems and plastics." She also noted that the companies cultures are similar as Honeywell's Chief Executive Officer, Lawrence Bossidy, is a former top executive from GE. \nOct. 19, CNBC's David Faber broke news of an impending merger between United Technologies and Honeywell. He told the news to GE's CEO Jack Welch, who was on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Welch reportedly didn't know about the acquisition until talking with Faber late Thursday. Once GE learned Honeywell was in merger talks, the company quickly moved to put together a deal.\nWelch, who turns 65 next month, had been scheduled to step down as General Electric's CEO. The Wall Street Journal reported he will stay at his post until 2001 as part of the company's effort to acquire Honeywell. General Electric was expected to name a successor to his position in the next two months.\nUnited Technologies had offered Honeywell a deal smaller than GE's offer valued around $50 a share. As investors learned that United Technologies would be outbid, shares of Honeywell rose $10-5/16 -- or nearly 29 percent -- Friday. Shares of Honeywell closed at 46 dollars on the day, while General Electric closed down 3-3/8 at 52-1/4.\nThe outcome of this merger could have an effect on the markets today, as GE, Honeywell and United Technologies represent three of the 30 companies which make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.\nThe Associated Press contributed to this story.

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