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Honeywell Unveils Plan to Spin Off Resins & Chemicals Unit

As part of its efforts to focus on high-growth businesses, Honeywell International Inc. HON unveiled plans to spin-off its $1.3 billion resins and chemicals business into a standalone, publicly-traded company called AdvanSix.

This move came two months after the industrial conglomerate backed out of a $90 billion blockbuster bid to buy rival giant United Technologies Corp. UTX. It backed down from what would have been the largest industrial merger ever after facing resistance from the target, antitrust regulators and key clients.

Post spin-off, AdvanSix will be a leading producer of Nylon 6, a polymer resin used to produce engineered plastics, filaments, fibers and films that are used in products such as automotive and electronic components, and also in food and industrial packaging. The new company will be called AdvanSix with the current general manager of the resins and chemicals unit, Erin Kane as its President & Chief Executive Officer.

The transaction is expected to close by early 2017 and be tax-free for its shareholders. Honeywell added that the proposed spin-off has no measurable effect on its financial guidance at this point of time.

Honeywell’s Resins and Chemicals business boasts a dominant position in the industries which it serves, and enjoys a global cost advantage.

The resins business accounted for roughly 3% of Honeywell’s $38.6 billion sales last year. The company expects the unit to achieve 4% growth annually over the next five years, ahead of the 3% growth in the broader $8 billion market.

Regardless, the growth is significantly lower than Honeywell’s other business. Also, the resins business has been facing intensifying competition from Asian players recently, which is exerting pressure on its margins.

Of late, Honeywell has been more focused on the higher-margin businesses such as its aerospace division. The aerospace business, whose customers include The Boeing Co. BA and Bombardier Inc., contributed nearly 40% of the company's total revenue in 2015.

Honeywell has regularly fine-tuned its portfolio, having sold about 60 of its units, accounting for $7 billion in sales, since 2002 and acquiring another 90 companies contributing $14 billion in revenue over the same period.

The proposed spin-off will enable this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock to focus on high-growth areas of its business and also boost its margins.

Another stock from the same space that investors can consider now is CLARCOR Inc. CLC, carrying the same rank as Honeywell.

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BOEING CO (BA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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