United Technologies Picks Bidders for $3 Billion Unit

(Bloomberg) -- United Technologies Corp. is starting the final round of an auction for its fire safety and security business, people familiar with the matter said.

Offers from Apax Partners and PAI Partners, as well as a joint bid from Eurazeo SE and Rhone Capital, are being considered, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The asset could fetch about $3 billion, one of the people said.

No final decisions have been made and the bidders may decide against buying the asset or UTC may decide against a sale, they said. A representative for Farmington, Connecticut-based United Technologies, didn’t have an immediate comment. Representatives for the bidders declined to comment.

The company, which has disparate jet-engine, elevator and air-conditioning businesses, is weighing a breakup after it completes a $23 billion deal for Rockwell Collins Inc. that will create an aerospace behemoth. That plan has been publicly supported by two activist shareholders, Third Point’s Dan Loeb and Pershing Square Capital Management’s Bill Ackman.

United Technologies agreed to sell an ice-cream machine unit, Taylor Co., for $1 billion this year.

The fire safety business makes sprinklers, smoke detectors and security cameras, and provides services such as training and maintenance, according to its website. Its brands include Chubb, Fireye and Kidde, among others.

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