It was a shocker. The announcement that Rockwell Collins would acquire B/E Aerospace for $6.4 billion plus the assumption of $1.9 billion in debt caught nearly everyone by surprise. Most analysts, including this author, expected Tier 1 consolidation—but not between the iconic avionics specialist with a leading interiors supplier. The two companies seem to have little in common and limited technology synergy. Financial markets punished Rockwell Collins with a 5% decline on the day of ...

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