AlliedSignal agrees to sell units to get EU approval for merger


BRUSSELS, Belgium -- AlliedSignal Inc.'s $15 billion purchase of Honeywell Inc., the world's largest maker of automated controls, will get European Union clearance in the next two weeks after the companies offered concessions to secure EU approval, the European Commission said yesterday.

The commission, the EU's executive agency, will clear the acquisition by Dec. 8 at the latest and possibly as early as Wednesday, said spokesman Michael Tscherny. "The undertakings they offered are considered satisfactory," he said.

The acquisition received clearance from the U.S. Justice Department this month on the condition that the companies sell parts of their avionics businesses.

The commission, which began reviewing the purchase in July, has singled out the avionics market as its main concern. Tscherny would not comment on whether the offer made to EU regulators goes beyond the offer made to Washington.

Under the agreement with U.S. regulators, Minneapolis-based Honeywell will sell its Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System. Morristown, N.J.-based AlliedSignal will shed its search and surveillance weather-radar business, its space and navigation unit, its communications-electronics business and its guidance-technology business.

AlliedSignal has said its AlliedSignal Technical Services Corp. in Columbia, which employs about 1,800, would not be affected by the pending divestiture.

The companies have said they expect to receive approval from the commission in time to complete the transaction by year's end.

The commission can block or force changes to mergers between companies with combined global sales of $5.2 billion and EU sales of $2.6 million each, even if the companies are from outside the 15-nation EU.

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