Pratt and Whitney denies report on merger
WASHINGTON, Jan 3 (AFP) - 18:49 GMT - Aircraft engine and aerospace group Pratt and Whitney on Monday denied report in London saying it was considering a merger with British-based Rolls Royce Plc.
"It's preposterous," said Peter Murphy, spokesman for Pratt and Whitney, a unit of United Technologies.
"If they (Rolls Royce officials) are looking for a buyer, they know our number."
The Sunday Business newspaper in London reported that investment banks acting for Pratt and Whitney had made a proposal to the board of Rolls-Royce for a merger dominated by the British company but the two groups had not yet held talks directly.
The two groups had held merger talks five years ago but these had come to nothing because the chairman of Rolls-Royce, Ralph Robins, had insisted that his company should control the new entity. Pratt and Whitney had rejected that.
But in the last five years, Rolls-Royce has won big shares of the market notably at the expense of Pratt and Whitney, the report said.
The two companies are already partners in the International Aero-Engine consortium which makes engines for European Airbus A320 airliners, and in October signed a partnership agreement to develop and supply engines for a British-American fighter aircraft programme.
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