Will UTC go on fire and security company buying spree?


AP reported last week that United Technologies Corp. CEO Louis Chenevert said, at an investment analysts conference, that UTC is interested in adding to its fire and security portfolio.

Earlier this year, of course, UTC completed the acquisition of GE Security, which it folded into its UTC Fire and Security division, and in 2008 it had a rocky courtship of Diebold.

At an investor analyst conference, Chenevert said he sees “room for a couple of plays” in United Technologies’ fire and security business. The business has been growing steadily, posting an operating profit of $168 million in the second quarter, triple the $55 million earned in the prior-year quarter.

United Technologies completed a $1.82 billion purchase of General Electric Co.’s fire detection and electronic security business in March.

In October 2008, United Technologies dropped its unsolicited $2.6 billion bid to buy ATM manufacturer Diebold Inc., which it intended to add to its fire and security business. Diebold thwarted UTC by refusing to discuss the offer and it delayed its financial information.

Wonder what company Chenevert’s thinking about?

UTC officials, not surprisingly, are not expounding on Chenevert’s comments. I called UTC spokesman John Moran, who told me “we don’t comment on prospective transactions.”