August 30, 2017 / 3:30 PM / 7 months ago

Airbus says hopes M&A talk will not distract United Tech from operational priorities

PARIS, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Airbus has urged United Technologies to stay focused on fixing industrial problems that have delayed aircraft deliveries even if it presses ahead with reported plans to buy avionics supplier Rockwell Collins

The two U.S. aerospace suppliers have been discussing a tie-up for around a month and a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday a deal could come as early as next week.

“We will only comment on the implications of such a deal when it becomes real,” an Airbus spokesman said. “Today, our total focus is on delivering planes and we hope that any potential M&A would not distract UTC from their top operational priority.”

Delays in receiving engines from UTC subsidiary Pratt & Whitney have disrupted deliveries of Airbus A320neo jets, drawing criticism from the European planemaker’s management.

The unusual warning to UTC before any acquisition is completed is the first public sign that the possible deal to create a new parts giant may trigger questions from major planemakers. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Ingrid Melander)

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