Honeywell seeks to avoid aerospace spin-off, increases dividend
Honeywell International Inc. announced plans to increase its annual divided by 12% last week as a way to reduce pressure from an activist investor who seeks to shed the aerospace business in order to boost shareholder value.
However, the company is not expected to spin off its aerospace unit and an announcement could be made within the next couple weeks, U.S. media reported.
Earlier this year, activist investor Daniel Loeb and his hedge fund Third Point LLC pushed Honeywell to shed the business to boost shareholder value by an estimated US$ 20 billion, as he wants to make it an industrial growth company focused on automation and productivity.
Honeywell said in a statement it was increasing its regular cash dividend to US$ 2.98 per common share, from US$ 2.66 per common share, as of the fourth quarter but declined to comment further on any plans to sell assets.
Aerospace is Honeywell’s largest segment, representing 40% of annual sales. The division makes turbochargers for cars as well as auxiliary power units and engines for aircraft made by Bombardier, Textron and General Dynamics, among other products.
All four Honeywell strategic business groups operate in Mexico and the Aerospace segment is not an exemption.
Honeywell’s Mexicali Research & Technology Center in Baja California is a systems integration lab that employs 350 people engaged in the design, engineering and testing of components for aircraft systems.
Additionally, the company operates the Honeywell Chihuahua Machining Operations (HCMO), a major production facility that has been recognized as a Center of Excellence in the area of advanced precision mechanics for commercial and military aircraft engines.