October 9, 2017 11:35 CET
NEW YORK — Honeywell International plans to spin off non-core assets and create at least two new publicly listed companies, as the U.S. industrial conglomerate seeks to streamline its business, according to people familiar with the matter.
The move would represent the first major shakeup at the U.S. company since Darius Adamczyk succeeded David Cote as CEO in April. It comes after Honeywell said in September it would raise its annual dividend by 12 percent.
The sources said on Sunday that while Honeywell would defy calls by one of its shareholders, activist hedge fund Third Point, to spin off its aerospace division, it would still seek to carve out assets worth several billions of dollars.
Honeywell is considering placing its turbochargers business, which produces components that improve the performance and efficiency of cars and trucks, into one of the newly created companies, the sources said. Honeywell lists turbochargers as part of its aerospace business.
The sources did not disclose which other assets Honeywell was looking to spin off and asked not to be identified because the deliberations were confidential.
Honeywell is hoping to unveil the spinoff plan as early as this week, though the announcement could be delayed, the sources added. Honeywell, which has a market capitalization of $ 109 billion, declined to comment.
Honeywell’s businesses include energy efficient products and solutions for homes, specialty chemicals, electronic and advanced materials, and sensing, safety and security technologies for buildings, homes and industries.
Third Point has argued that Honeywell is undervalued compared to peers in industrial automation, and that spinning off the entire aerospace business would create $ 20 billion in shareholder value.
Honeywell’s aerospace business, its biggest, also makes auxiliary power units and engines for aircraft manufactured by companies such as Bombardier, Textron and General Dynamics.
Last year, Honeywell approached peer United Technologies to discuss a potential combination but was rebuffed. Last month, United Technologies struck a $ 30 billion agreement to buy avionics and interiors maker Rockwell Collins. Analysts have said this deal positions United Technologies to also spin off assets down the line, though no such deal has been announced.
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