Sikorsky Aircraft could be sold or spun off from United Technologies, Defense News reported Monday, citing unnamed sources.
The Stratford-based company, which specializes in military-type helicopters, has faced headwinds as the U.S. winds down two big wars and governments around the globe have tightened their defense spending.
The company would likelier be unloaded as a tax-free spinoff than through an acquisition or merger, Defense News reported.
John Moran, a spokesman for the Hartford-based United Technologies, declined to comment in a phone interview Monday evening.
“We don’t comment on market rumors,” he said.
Sikorsky had a global workforce of about 15,800 people, more than 8,400 of whom work in Connecticut, after laying off about 400 people from its hourly workforce last summer.
Last week, in its fourth-quarter earnings report, United Technologies said that Sikorsky brought in about $6.25 billion in revenue for 2013, a drop of 7.9 percent. Operating profit for the year was down more than 16 percent, to $594 million. All told, Sikorsky accounted for about 10 percent of United Technologies’ overall revenue of $62.6 billion, Reuters noted.
The New York Times underscored in its report that the discussions are preliminary and that a deal may not result.
Shares in United Technologies were up 1.78 percent to $113.79 on Monday, while the S&P 500 was down slightly.