Rockwell Collins acquires B/E Aerospace

Minimal impact expected for New Berlin operations

The acquisition of B/E Aerospace Inc. by Rockwell Collins will have minimal impact on the former’s operations in New Berlin, a Rockwell Collins spokeswoman said.

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“At this point, we expect minimal – if any – impact,” Rockwell Collins spokeswoman Pamela Tvrdy-Cleary said in an email. “We are still working on finalizing the overall plan and will be able to provide more details at closing.”

Iowa-based Rockwell Collins announced the acquisition of Florida-based B/E Aerospace on Sunday for approximately $6.4 billion in cash and stock, plus the assumption of $1.9 billion in net debt. The deal is expected to close in spring 2017.

B/E Aerospace acquired New Berlin-based Emteq Inc. in 2014 for $253.2 million. Emteq manufactured interior and exterior lighting systems for aircraft. At the time of the deal, Emteq had more than 300 employees at its New Berlin operations.

A B/E Aerospace representative did not respond to an inquiry seeking updated employment figures.

B/E Aerospace continues to have operations in a 97,850-square-foot facility in New Berlin. The leased facility is one of 27 facilities covering 3.2 million square feet.

Rockwell Collins makes a variety of avionics and information management systems while B/E Aerospace manufacturers cabin interior products.

“This transformational acquisition is consistent with our strategy to accelerate growth and build value through market-leading positions in cockpit and cabin solutions,” said Kelly Ortberg, Rockwell Collins, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We see tremendous opportunity to better serve our commercial aviation, business jet and military customers through broader offerings.”

B/E Aerospace will be run as a  newly created aircraft interior systems segment within Rockwell Collins. Wener Lieberherr, B/E Aerospace chief executive officer, will become executive vice president and chief operating officer of the new segment.

Rockwell Collins projected the acquisition would result in pre-tax run-rate cost synergies of $160 million. The synergies would come from consolidating headquarters, eliminating duplicate public company costs, low cost country manufacturing, supply chain savings, consolidation of IT systems and rationalizing sales and customer support efforts.

“Our combination with Rockwell Collins represents an excellent outcome for B/E Aerospace’s stockholders, who will receive an immediate premium as well as a substantial equity interest in a strong combined company with a broader range of products, customers, and the combined expertise and resources to create future value,” said Amin Khoury, B/E Aerospace founder and chairman. “We feel confident that this combination delivers significant long-term benefits neither company could realize on its own. We look forward to becoming part of Rockwell Collins and leveraging their technology to accelerate our long-term growth as we embark on the next chapter in the company’s history.”

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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