GE-HONEYWELL DEAL FADES; HEADS DISAGREE ON LAST-DITCH PROPOSAL
BRUSSELS, Belgium and NEW YORK
Reuters news service reports final glimmers of hope for General Electric Co.‘s proposed purchase of Honeywell Int’l Inc. faded on Friday, as the two companies’ chief executives disagreed publicly over a last-ditch proposal to save the deal.
Honeywell CEO Michael Bonsignore offered to slash $1.7 billion from the pricetag to compensate GE for extra divestitures to satisfy European Union competition concerns. GE CEO Jack Welch replied that the proposal “makes no sense” for shareholders.
Barring developments such as a new offer by GE, the European Commission—the EU’s executive arm—looks set to block the transaction when it votes next Tuesday. A source close to the situation said GE has no plans to negotiate further with European regulators. “What the Commission is seeking cuts the heart out of the strategic rationale of our deal,” Welch says in his letter rejecting Honeywell’s proposal. “The new deal you propose, in response to the Commission, makes no sense for our share owners, for the same strategic reasons.”
Honeywell shares dropped $3.21, or 8.4 percent, to close at $34.99, their lowest close since Oct. 18, five days before the deal with GE was announced. GE shares fell 12 cents to $48.75.
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