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Honeywell Has No Room for Dummies

Biz BriefsHoneywell last month paid a reported $508 million for First Technology, a company that has three divisions: one makes gas-sensing products; another produces automotive sensors and other products; and the third makes crash-test dummies. Last week the $28 billion Morris Township conglomerate announced it was selling that third unit, First Technology Safety & Analysis, which rang up $48.1 million in sales in fiscal 2005.

The buyer is HgCapital, a private equity firm based in London. It will pay $87.3 million for the manufacturer of crash-test dummies and other products.

Why the rush to jettison the unit? Honeywell CEO Dave Cote says his company really wanted First Technology’s gas-sensing business. Referring to the dummy-making unit, whose faceless products have become a pop-cultural icon, Cote says, “FTSA is a leader in its industry and a valuable asset, but it does not represent a good strategic fit with the Honeywell portfolio. The opportunity to sell this business very shortly after the close of our acquisition of First Technology is attractive for Honeywell from both a financial and business integration standpoint.” Honeywell says it’s also reviewing its options for the automotive sensors unit.

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