There's a new kid in town

UTC develops its fire and security division, bringing Kidde, Chubb together
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Sunday, May 1, 2005

FARMINGTON, Conn.--United Technologies Corp. announced the renaming of its Chubb operating segment to UTC Fire & Security in early April--an initiative that brings recently acquired Kidde's industrial fire protection, and residential and commercial fire safety segments, with UTC's installation and monitoring business Chubb under the same operating division.
According to Sandi Lee, vice president of communications at UTC Fire & Security, the name change was necessary as the two companies came together and to distinguish UTC's drive to build its business in the market space.
"Both Kidde and Chubb are strong brands with loyal customers, and by maintaining both brands under an entity with a descriptor such as UTC Fire & Security we will be better able to serve a broader market," said Lee. "Also by aligning the segment more closely with UTC, we will be able to leverage the value of the UTC name."
UTC has been playing an active part on the buying front in the industry over the past few months as its buy of Kidde was completed and its intentions of acquiring Lenel Systems International for $400 million announced in March.
Lee said the now finalized acquisition of Kidde (see related story on this page) has changed the size and scope of the company, which also facilitated the name change.
It also allows the division, which employs 52,000 in approximately 30 countries, to group other companies under the division as future acquisitions are identified.
"Fire and security is a simple accurate descriptor that quickly conveys our product and service offering," Lee said.
Now that Kidde and Chubb are back together--the two organizations were grouped as entities of Williams plc before Chubb was acquired by UTC--Lee said there are few geographic and product areas the companies have overlap in.
"When the two companies were demerged out of Williams, the service side of the business went to Chubb while Kidde kept the manufacturing business," Lee said. "So in fact the two companies are very complementary."
Currently, fire safety comprises 59 percent of the division and 41 percent is in security covering electronic security, monitoring and response, manned guarding, cash in transit and physical security. Lee said the company, which is approximately a $4.5-billion company and the second largest global fire safety company, will focus equally on both fire and security and will balance out its remaining respective businesses and anticipates a profit growth of more than 30 percent in 2005.
"We like Chubb's position in the value chain, being close to the customer front end, but we believe that it is also important to own some proprietary technology to meet the requirements of the high-end market."