United Technologies Corp (UTC) has confirmed its plans to separate Sikorsky Aircraft from its portfolio of business through a sale or potential tax-free spinoff.
The decision to divest the US military’s largest helicopter manufacturer follows a review of strategic alternatives, announced in March of this year, and was subject to the final board approval.
UTC president and CEO Gregory Hayes said: "Our strategic review has confirmed that exiting the helicopter business is the best path forward for United Technologies.
"Sikorsky is the world’s premier helicopter company and through a series of strategic wins is well positioned for long-term growth.
"However, separation of Sikorsky from the portfolio will allow both United Technologies and Sikorsky to better focus on their core businesses.
"Over the coming weeks, we’ll determine whether a spinoff or direct sale is the best way to enhance Sikorsky’s long-term success and create the most value for customers and shareholders."
Excluding Sikorsky, the company now expects 2015 earnings per share of $6.35 to $6.55 on sales of nearly $58bn to $59bn, as well as organic sales growth of 3% to 5%.
With Sikorsky, the company anticipates earnings per share of $6.55 to $6.85, down from the previous expectation of $6.85 to $7.05, which reflects nearly $0.10 to $0.20 of one-time separation costs along with a $0.10 decline in Sikorsky’s operational expectations for the year.
The decline has been attributed to weakness in the oil and gas markets.
UTC aims to announce the final decision of whether Sikorsky would be sold or spun off into a stand-alone company by the end of the third quarter of this year.
According to media reports, the UTC has received offers from a number of companies, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Airbus Group, as well as the Bell Helicopter unit of Textron.
Founded in 1925, Sikorsky Aircraft manufactures a broad range of well-known civilian and military helicopters, such as the UH-60 Black Hawk, SH-60 Seahawk, and the S-72 X-Wing.