A child licks an ice cream cone at in San Diego. (Photographer: Sandy Huffaker/Bloomberg News.)

United Technologies Sells Ice-Cream Machine Unit for $1 Billion

(Bloomberg) -- United Technologies Corp. agreed to sell Taylor Co., a business that specializes in ice-cream dispensing equipment and frozen-drink machines, to Middleby Corp. for $1 billion.

The deal enables United Technologies to sharpen the focus in its Carrier Transicold business around transport and commercial refrigeration, according to a statement Friday by the industrial manufacturer. Middleby was drawn by Taylor’s complementary product offerings and heavy presence in top restaurant chains, it said in a separate statement.

United Technologies Chief Executive Officer Greg Hayes is preparing to conduct a broad portfolio review later this year after closing the $23 billion acquisition of aerospace supplier Rockwell Collins Inc. He’s said he will consider all options, including a breakup that could leave the climate unit as one of three standalone companies.

United Technologies is under pressure from activist investors Third Point and Pershing Square Capital Management, which are calling for the maker of air conditioners, jet engines and elevators to split apart.

Middleby, a restaurant-equipment supplier based in Elgin, Illinois, said it will finance the all-cash deal through an existing credit facility. The company expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings within the first year and to provide cash tax benefits of $16 million annually. The purchase is expected to close in the third quarter.

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