FAIRFIELD, CT — The president of General Electric Co., Jeffrey R. Immelt, told reporters that his company’s proposed $45 billion acquisition of Honeywell will probably be blocked by European regulators and is very likely dead. However, he said that GE would wait to get the final determination next month.

Europe’s antitrust regulators believe the merger would give the company considerable market power in the aviation industry, and asked that GE sell off major parts of its aircraft businesses. The company would not agree to the concessions.

At an air show in Paris, France, Immelt said, “We are very far apart as we sit here today, and fundamentally we are planning our future without Honeywell.”

Jack Welch, chairman and ceo of GE, stated, “Jeff Immelt and I wanted to complete the transaction but we have always said there is a point at which we wouldn't do the deal. The [European] Commission's extraordinary demands are far beyond that point.… In this case, the European regulators’ demands exceeded anything I or our European advisors imagined, and differed sharply from antitrust counterparts in the U.S. and Canada.” According to the New York Times, United Technologies, which had earlier lost out to GE in its attempt to acquire Honeywell, is now considering another bid.

The European Commission’s decision on the GE-Honeywell merger is set to be made by July 12.

Publication date: 06/18/2001