United Technologies CEO sees $1 billion in acquisitions in 2015

By Reuters

Mar 13, 2015 05:01 AM EDT

United Technologies Corp's (UTX.N) chief executive officer said on Thursday that the company will spend $1 billion on acquisitions this year, "maybe a little bit more," even as he eyes bigger targets.

United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes, speaking at investor day in New York where he detailed a potential split off of its Sikorsky helicopter unit, said that the acquisition climate was difficult due to high pricing.

He reiterated his earlier stance that he was interested in large deals, but he cautioned that "mega deals" were "really, really hard" to execute.

"We're going to look for the bigger deals, and $5 billion is a pretty big deal," Hayes told an audience of analysts and investors.

Hayes said the company, which also sells jet engines, elevators and climate control systems, expects $45 billion in free cash flow between now and the end of the decade.

Wall Street had been highly anticipating the meeting, which was Hayes' first overview of the company since he became CEO in November. Hayes previously served as the company's finance chief.

The U.S. conglomerate on Wednesday announced it would review alternatives for Sikorsky, including a potential spinoff.

Shares were up 1.9 percent at $120.58 in mid-afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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