United Technologies executive says more investments possible in alternative energy

Thursday, February 11, 2010

UTC exec says more energy investments possible

HARTFORD, Conn. — A month after United Technologies Corp. announcing that it closed on a $270 million deal to acquire nearly half of a California wind turbine manufacturer, the chief financial officer says the conglomerate is interested in other investments in alternative energy.

CFO Greg Hayes said at an analysts meeting Thursday that the acquisition of Clipper Windpower PLC was a “relatively small bet.”

“We’ve been looking at alternative energy for a long time,” he said. “We always liked the space. We see the movement towards clean energy as a space that we can participate in with the technologies that we have.”

The Hartford conglomerate, which owns jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, Otis elevator and other businesses, said with the Clipper deal it can expand its power generation businesses and enter the high-growth wind power industry.

Hayes said United Technologies may seek a majority share of Clipper. It currently has a 49.5 percent stake.

“If over the next couple of years we see what we like, we always have the opportunity to take a majority share if we want,” he said. “And if we like the market dynamics, I think you might see more in that space or other alternative technology spaces, which are adjacent to markets where we can actually use UTC technology in the space.”

The company has a $3 billion 2010 merger and acquisition budget. More than half of that is for the previously announced acquisition of General Electric Co.’s fire detection and electronic security business for $1.82 billion in a deal to expand its similar operations in North America.

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