© Reuters. A logo of Honeywell is pictured on their booth during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
By Nathan Gomes
(Reuters) -U.S. industrial firm Honeywell (NASDAQ:) said on Friday it would buy air conditioner maker Carrier’s security unit for $4.95 billion in cash to bulk up its building safety business where growth has slowed in recent months.
The deal is Honeywell’s biggest under new CEO Vimal Kapur and will offer access to Carrier’s brands such as electronic lock maker Onity, used by many major hotel chains, and cloud-based lock maker Supra.
Carrier’s Access Solutions security business provides residential, commercial and industrial security systems. The company was in talks with advisors to spin off its fire and security business, Reuters reported earlier this year.
“Strategically, this is a hand-in-glove acquisition for Honeywell. It was the most logical buyer and so this is not a surprise, although the multiple is certainly much higher as already noted,” said Wolfe Research analyst Nigel Coe.
Shares of Florida-based Carrier rose 4.3% to $55.17 in early trade, while Honeywell fell about 1.4%.
The deal will help bolster Honeywell’s building technologies business, which has been struggling with low revenue growth this year due to weak demand. Honeywell’s overall performance, however, has been supported by strong results in its aviation business.
“Our concern with the deal is that it appears Honeywell is paying a peak multiple on peak non-residential construction activity,” said UBS analyst Chris Snyder.
The all-cash deal is expected to close before the end of the third quarter of 2024 and will be cash-earnings per share accretive to Honeywell in the first full year of ownership.
Carrier said it intends to use the deal’s estimated net proceeds of about $4 billion to pay down debt. Its fire and security unit accounted for about 17% of its total sales last year.
($1 = 0.9306 euros)