Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

United Tech Bids $2.6B for Diebold 129

zhang1983 writes "United Technologies, parent company of jet engine-maker Pratt & Whitney, Otis elevator and Sikorsky Aircraft, said it made the unsolicited offer to Diebold for $2.63 billion on Friday after trying to negotiate a deal for two years. United Technologies said the company announced the offer Sunday night because executives believe their offer is "so compelling we thought shareholders should know about it.""
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

United Tech Bids $2.6B for Diebold

Comments Filter:
  • Yeah but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:00AM (#22622776) Homepage
    When the shareholders come to vote on it, somehow the results won't be quite as expected...

    • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:10AM (#22622874) Homepage Journal
      Should we accept the buyout offer by United Tech?

      24% --- In favor
      25% --- Against
      51% --- Republican
      • by marcop ( 205587 )
        I have seen similar jokes about Diebold stealing the election in favor of a Republican. Another one was "The Onion" doing a video news piece on Diebold releasing the results of the 2008 election in favor of McCain.

        Although this is quite funny, I find it disturbing that my party seems to always be the crux of this type of joke. I am not complaining about it though. I think it is more of a sad commentary, and perhaps a wake up call, to the state of the Republican party.
        • Re:Yeah but... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03, 2008 @12:26PM (#22624372)
          I often wonder why people think it will ONLY be used to unfairly benefit Republicans. It's only a matter of time before it becomes an "equal opportunity offender". Problem is, lack of transparency means we will always think the victory was stolen by whoever "wins", but we won't know a damn thing. Does it mean anything to win if the calculation was driven by an easily manipulated database?
        • Re:Yeah but... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by infonography ( 566403 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @12:57PM (#22624730) Homepage
          Democrats used to be completely corrupt, racist, and complete liars. Look up Tammany hall [] Republicans used to be progressive eco-friendly and moral see Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt. Don't tie yourself to a party, they won't be who you knew when you were growing up. Consider Mark Foley, Tom DeLay, Trent Lott, Karl Rove, and Bill Frist. Do you really want leave these guys alone with your kids or even know where you live let alone running the country???? 30 years from now it will likely change. It's the way the world works.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Republicans used to be progressive eco-friendly and moral see Abraham Lincoln.

            If you think Abraham Lincoln wasn't racist, you're lying to yourself.

            "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a phys
            • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
              It seems to me that was a very progressive statement at the time. And if you look at what you quoted it doesn't say he wasn't racist. It says he was progressive.

              The stereotypical members of both parties right now hold strong, and in my opinion highly immoral, prejudicial bias against more than one segment of our current free society. The line isn't drawn by skin color anymore in many cases (not that there isn't still plenty of racism), but there is just as much hate based on arbitrary cultural differences.
        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by cHiphead ( 17854 )
          Perhaps because 'your party' has been long suspected of doing just what is implied. If you are just now seeing the Republican party in need of a wake up call, where the fuck have you been since Nixon?

      • Good but a slightly better tally would have been:

        24% in favor

        25% against

        52% Republican
    • When the shareholders come to vote on it, somehow the results won't be quite as expected...
      And rightly so. I mean: why shouldn't upstanding, hard working, law-abiding machines have a right to vote?
    • by joaommp ( 685612 )
      OTIS is already a lousy company (at least in Portugal, their maintenance services are the worst I have ever seen and their products get broken frequently). With Diebold, now, two bad companies would be under the same umbrella. I have heard of the other two companies, but I have no reference to their quality whatsoever. So, what will this turn out to be for United Tech?
  • Buying an election only costs ... how much?
    Oh wait. This is just the startup costs... *sigh*
    I guess my dreams of world conquest are falling apart around me.
  • It's probably not about Premier Elections Systems. The companies United Tech are all aerospace and defense contractor. Diebold sells a lot of security systems products and services. It's probably more about that than about the election machines.
    • by GWLlosa ( 800011 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:12AM (#22622900)
      That is entirely correct. Diebold is one of the key players in the ATM business, as well as being a major provider of banking security equipment. To clarify (since this is slashdot) banking security here refers to safes, cameras, locks, and bulletproof teller windows, not encrypted data on the server or anything. They've also made a significant effort to streamline banking processes in recent times; they've got a fair amount of technology relating to scanning and transmitting financial documents, so as to preclude the need to send the physical document itself.

      Elections, despite the notoriety it has caused, is more or less a 'side' business for Diebold, which was probably the result of someone high-up watching the Gore VS Bush Florida recount debacle and saying to himself, "Now THAT [election devices] looks like a growth market right there..." As far as I know, the 'Diebold Election Systems' branch was simply bought and bolted on to the company.
      • I'm still wary; even security cameras are complex enough to be hacked if the company doesn't know what it's doing.. aka diebold..
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ozmanjusri ( 601766 )
        Elections, despite the notoriety it has caused, is more or less a 'side' business for Diebold,

        Which would you rather control, a $2.8b company or a $13 trillion economy?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Repeat after me: George Bush does not have a giant lever marked "Economy."
          • by brennanw ( 5761 ) * on Monday March 03, 2008 @11:00AM (#22623352) Homepage Journal
            It's a very TINY handle. And you need to jiggle it in order to get it to flush properly.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by aldousd666 ( 640240 )
            I'd agree with you. But you can't mean what I think you do or that would mean I was seeing someone who knows something about economics, for real, from facts, not from feelings or beliefs, on Slashdot. That just can't be. So should I laugh instead?
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Defense budget: Economic growth. Dump money into R&D for things like armor, vision systems (night vision goggles designed for the C4ISR initially), radars, new fuel systems and engines for planes, power storage systems (I could make use of ultra caps in a war zone, trust me)....

              NASA: More of the same. Dump cash into space research and suddenly you have non-tube transistors, heat shielding, capri sun packets, CO2 buffers, some toy that uses heated iron to break CO2 down into carbon deposits (scrape t
              • keep that left brain working then, because honestly, the country will need as many folks like yourself as it can muster ;)
                • I'm working on learning guitar to get both sides of my head working. I have no capacity for creativity, you have no idea how much it sucks. I'm relatively dumb until you put enough facts in front of me to make something trivially obvious to someone who can interpret all the data at once (instead of trying to draw conclusions working in pieces?).

                  Minesweeper in 3D is pissing me off now so let me get back to that (Mines Perfect...)
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by immcintosh ( 1089551 )
                My question is, if the economy gradually collapses throughout eight years of office, THEN can you blame the President? I mean, I can't really blame him for 9/11, but I can sure blame him for what's happened since. Maybe that's a bit of a stretched analogy...
                • No, because there are OTHER market forces in play. The president/congress/etc can attempt to slow market growth (huge peaks lead into huge dips, so try to smooth the curve out) or increase market growth (when the market's dying down, and needs a little push to keep its bottom from being too low before it cycles back up). The economy is basically a sine wave.
      • Diebold's ATM and bank security business $2 billion
        Diebold's Other Miscellaneous Businesses $0.6 billion

        Ability to control the US's elections... Priceless.
      • by jafac ( 1449 )
        Yes, they purchased their election business, (before the 2000 election, mind you.) -
        In fact, they're not the only (nor are they nearly the worst) player in the "bad voting machines" business; they're just the most publicly known.

        The worst part is: to be legitimately doing this business, they are supposed to follow rigorous testing, documentation, and change-control processes. They have demonstrated over and over that they are incapable of doing so - in violation of the contracts they signed with the govern
      • Correct. Diebold bought Global Election Systems in 2002, which in turn had eaten Spectrum Print and Mail in 2000. Between Spectrum and Global there were five serious convicted felons in management. It's unclear whether or not Diebold understood what a pack of pirates they were getting in bed with.

        To this day the elections division often appears to be a rogue group within Diebold.

        The reason Diebold bought the struggling Global was the $3.5billion in Federal funding pumped into buying new voting machines v
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sunking2 ( 521698 )
      Actually that is far from true. UTC is about as diversified a company as you can find. While known as and still probably slightly tilted in the aerospace/defense side they include such heavy weights as Otis Elevator and Carrier. I think carrier at this point is on par if not greater than even Pratt revenue wise. In fact, if you look over the last 5 years their industrial companies are far outpacing the aero side in annual growth. A good reason why their stock is a pretty good bet, especially in times like t
    • Not all divisions of UTI are defense and aerospace contractors. UTI has bought a few companies, Otis Elevator and Lenel Systems Int'l, to name a couple, that have little to do with defense and aerospace.

      Diebold has a *very* large access-control installation and service division, which could tie very well into the acquisition of Lenel from a couple years ago.
    • by kenf99 ( 1250024 )
      Actually, not true. The largest company in the UTC family is Carrier Corporation, leading maker of HVAC equipment for both the residential and commercial markets. Carrier makes up over 60% of UTC. UTC is approx $25B and Carrier makes approx $15B of that.
      • This isn't quite true, at least from a revenue aspect. UTC is closer to $50B (#42 in current fortune 100 list), and Carrier, Otis and P&W are currently so close in revenue that it could teeter to either on any given year depending on contract cycles. Probably close to 25% for each.

        That being said, 5 years ago P&W was by far the 800lb gorilla of the corporation. There isn't a whole lot left out there on the aerospace side to acquire. The commercial industrial side is where all the low lying fruit is

  • Diebold could be buying Diebold.
  • Great, give our elections to the Russians.
    • by Constantine XVI ( 880691 ) <trash.eighty+slashdot @ g m a i l . c om> on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:08AM (#22622860)
      According to Wikipedia ( []); United Tech (Sikorsky's parent) is based in Hartford, CT
    • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
      Well, we now know the winner of the next president election in USA.

      It's Vladimir Putin.
      • by Asic Eng ( 193332 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:30AM (#22623062)
        Well, I think despite Constantine objection that the company is actually based in Hartford, CT - this is really the heart of the matter. If you wouldn't trust the machines if they were delivered by a Russian company, then you shouldn't trust them at all. Even if Diebold were a company of excellent reputation, impartial and known to deliver the best quality - how could you be sure that there wasn't at least one engineer working for them who could be bribed by a foreign power? Who is to say they don't have a sleeper agent on their workforce? Why wouldn't a hostile government attempt to gain control of the voting process? Maybe their push to avoid paper records is not just motivated by a desire to cover up problems in a shoddy product - maybe it's really because someone in that company needs to make sure that there can't be a trace?

        I don't really think Diebold is controlled by a foreign power currently, but it seems like a rather high risk to take - combined with a rather low chance of finding out if it were to happen.

        • Why does it even have to be a foreign power? I could think of plenty domestic powers with an interest in influencing the voting process...
        • by haagmm ( 859285 )
          umm no.

          Sikorsky was founded in America by a Russian Immigrant in 1923
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gedeco ( 696368 )
      Igor Sikorsky:
      the Wikipedia article you should have read []
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        From said article:
        "In 1928, Sikorsky became a naturalized citizen of the United States. The next year, Sikorsky Aero Engineering Company was purchased by, and became a subsidiary of, United Aircraft, itself now a part of United Technologies Corporation."
      • Can people here please stop proffering wikipedia links as evidence? Truth is rare on wikipedia, the articles there prove nothing -- other than how easy people will believe in information that basically looks correct, even when it's rarely no more than a pile of badly-written lies. It saddens me, but doesn't surprise me that joe sixpack uses wikipedia as evidence, given the fact that Wikipedia tries hard to disguise it's bias and shortcomings and appear as legitiate. But people here really should know bette
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by R2.0 ( 532027 )
          So are you saying the data on Igor Sikorsky in the Wikipedia article isn't true? Or are you just a blowhard?
          • Once upon a time it was completely hilarious when someone would say "I know its true, I read it on the internet". This type of sourcing is obviously worthless. When these were Joe Sixpack's homepages being quoted no one had faith in the facts without a bit more research. Now, Joe Sixpack adds his edit to wiki, and the world believes this EXACT SAME information as gospel. The GP has a very valid point, please find a better source than wiki... use wiki to start a hunt for sources, but please stop saying " I
        • by gedeco ( 696368 )
          It is saddens me a lot more, that people only by hearing the name Sikorsky, make a completely unrelated link to imagine some Russian complot.

          Quoting parent: "But people here really should know better"

          I guess there are lies in the article, but the bottomline is there and is correct.
          Igor Sikorsky was a Rusian engineer famous for building helicopters an he happens to be a founder of the company with his name.

          Joe Sixpack?? Not realy, I do know a bit of history, and as opposed to others and I do remember Igor Si
        • by Pojut ( 1027544 )
          While I agree that there is a lot of innacurate information on Wikipedia, if an article cites it's sources and those sources are legit (i.e. not Joe Blow's House o' Info) then where is the problem in using Wikipedia to back up an argument?
        • by sm62704 ( 957197 )
          Truth is rare on wikipedia, the articles there prove nothing -- other than how easy people will believe in information that basically looks correct, even when it's rarely no more than a pile of badly-written lies.

          How true! I personally prefer the Uncyclopedia, and it says Igor Sikorsky [] doesn't exist. Oh wait, here he is [], apparently he changed his name to "Smith". Hell, if I had a Russian name during the cold war [] I'd change it to "Smith" too!

          Ignore that nonsense on Wikipedia, Uncyclopedia is way more accura []
        • Yes, I agree. Clearly only that which is personally received directly from the hand of God is credible evidence, and should in any way be used as a basis for opinion forming. Never mind this silly garbage Wikipedia likes to call "citations," from which they claim you can do "additional research." I'm onto them, and not buying it a bit!
        • Got a wiki link to 'prove' your bald assertions? /sarcasam

          To cut the BS and go right to the heart of your philosophical confusion. You can't prove to me that you exist.
  • Confusion (Score:5, Informative)

    by captaindirtnap ( 1231494 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:07AM (#22622832)
    2-3 Billion$ ATM business... 100 Million$ Election system business... Why do people think Diebold is primarily election systems-based?
    • I agree with you 100% - unfortunately people remember the election aspect much more, due to claims of issues, etc. Human nature is to remember the bad, forget the good.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Because that is what gets more publicized.

      Since the voting machines have had problems, all the news has been about that portion of their company, especially in an election year.

      Now, if all their machines had started spewing out $20s at a certain time of day at some point last year, then we would be talking about the atm machines.

      Many companies are known (or infamous) for a small subset of their business. Diebold is no exception, especially when they have been all over Slashdot for their voting machines for
      • by jc42 ( 318812 )
        Many companies are known (or infamous) for a small subset of their business. Diebold is no exception, especially when they have been all over Slashdot for their voting machines for the last few years. So, of course those who read Slashdot are going to talk about that. A banking board will likely be talking about the atms.

        Sorta like slashdot, actually. How many of the readers here, other than the minority of software developers, know anything at all about SourceForge's other "products"? How many readers ha
    • Why do people think Diebold is primarily election systems-based?

      I'm not sure we think that - it's just that their election systems cause us to be interested in them. "United Tech Bids $2.6B for some boring ATM manufacturer" probably wouldn't have been posted on Slashdot - and rightly so IMHO.

    • by jhines ( 82154 )
      Lack of a catchy logo on the ATMs?
    • Market Expansion: They should combine the two businesses together and pay people to vote.
      • by mkettler ( 6309 )
        No No No.. there's no profit in that.. You need to take it the other way and charge people an front-end fee to vote at this machine...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fishbowl ( 7759 )
      >Why do people think Diebold is primarily election systems-based?

      The position of control over a whole country's election system is
      far more valuable than the revenue of the business. Why do you think
      that the voting machine business being less valuable on the bottom line
      makes it a less important part of the company's portfolio?

  • by Cryophallion ( 1129715 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:08AM (#22622850)
    With UT behind it, there will be even more pressure on municipalities to buy the machines.

    I can hear it now:
    "Buy the machines, or we stop all your elevators, and we turn off all the fire and intrusion alarms!"

    Now THAT is a good bargaining chip.
  • Profit! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gnurfed ( 1051140 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:10AM (#22622872)
    1. Buy Diebold
    2. Elect neo-conservatives
    3. Get the US into more wars
    4. Sell lots of military hardware
    5. Profit!
    (no ????-step this time)
  • by sunking2 ( 521698 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:19AM (#22622950)
    George David is elected President. Homeland Security raids GE.
  • Is it just me? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by n3tcat ( 664243 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:23AM (#22622986)
    Have I been under a rock, or have there always been this many unsolicited bids being tossed about? Or is it just that the economy is shit right now and the people with money are trying to take advantage of the situation?
    • by mh1997 ( 1065630 )

      Have I been under a rock, or have there always been this many unsolicited bids being tossed about?

      You've been under a rock. From Wikepedia (Mergers and Acquisitions):

      The Great Merger Movement was a predominantly U.S. business phenomenon that happened from 1895 to 1905. During this time, small firms with little market share consolidated with similar firms to form large, powerful institutions that dominated their markets. The vehicle used were so-called trusts. To truly understand how large this movement was--in 1900 the value of firms acquired in mergers was 20% of GDP. In 1990 the value was only 3% and from 1998-2000 is was around 10-11% of GDP. Organizations that commanded the greatest share of the market in 1905 saw that command disintegrate by 1929 as smaller competitors joined forces with each other.

      This does not break down solicited/unsolicited, but remember the 80's when corporate raiders and hostile takeovers became the business/social symbols of success?

  • by sunking2 ( 521698 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:28AM (#22623046)
    I thought this was interesting. []
    • Yes, that's why they announced the bid. They've been trying to reach a deal to purchase, and can't get Diebold to agree, so they're going straight to the shareholders.

      Anyway, I've been trying to find a job at UTC for years... they're a great conglomerate (and based nearby). Maybe I can find one at Diebold UTC ;-)
      • Errr...where do you live, what do you do? Everyone in the Hartford area pops out of their mother with a UTC or Travelers (or some other insurance company) badge already on.
        • by drhamad ( 868567 )
          Now, I'm finishing up a law degree. I did work for IBM for 8 years (I'm from Fairfield county).
          • Craigslist. Honest, I laughed my ass off when I saw postings in my previous department there. Fairfield county is a bit of a drive unless you are looking at sikorsky. At least further than I'd commute for a job, though I do know a lot of people who do do it.
  • by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:30AM (#22623058) Journal
    but the real money is in stocks []

    I'm not saying anyone did, but an insider would be up 65% plus on the buyout bid news this morning...

    • Sure, but this is way too much of a honeypot to even think you could get away with any shinangans. Ask Martha how well things worked out for her.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jc42 ( 318812 )
        Sure, but this is way too much of a honeypot to even think you could get away with any shinangans.

        How so? The Diebold electronic-voting scandal has been with us for about a decode now, and I don't seem to have read of any indictments. Even Wally O'Dell's infamous promise in writing to deliver Ohio to the Republican got no obvious attention from the legal system. There don't seem to be much more than a few small-scale, local investigations so far, and the Justice Dept seems supremely uninterested in the top
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:39AM (#22623132)
    Senator John McCain introduces proposal for a multi-year, $50 billion initiative to purchase Sikorsky helicopters for our military.
  • Open, honest, and arm twisting as hell. There was another typical tactic [] used in politics (corporate politics too I'm sure) that arm twisted from another angle; I almost cried when I read that one... really disgusting.

    This is how I like to see the game played, whether in the big business or politics field or in the social realm. There's too much FUD and crappy threats going on everywhere, or blackmail with deep dark secrets; line the facts up and appeal to the interests of whoever you're trying to co

  • by slashdotmsiriv ( 922939 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:41AM (#22623154)
    After the recent Diebold fiasko, their stock has hit record bottom []
  • Err... (Score:3, Funny)

    by brian0918 ( 638904 ) <brian0918 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 03, 2008 @10:47AM (#22623226)
    So instead of the term diebold catching on as a perjorative, we're going to have to say something like "Damn, Hewlett Packard has pulled a real Pratt & Whitney, Otis Elevator and Sikorsky Aircraft on the public!"
  • The Democrats should consider rolling their coins so maybe they can win one.
  • First Microsoft/Yahoo, then EA/Take-Two, and now UTC/Diebold. Are there always this many unsolicited take overs going on, or for some reason are these being more publicized than most? Is a generally depressed stock market causing this, with many companies share prices being undervalued, and in turn provoking some of these offers?

    I just can't remember three such high profiles offers being made in such close proximity to each other. Not that I follow the financial markets closely...
    • Only high profile because you happen to know/be interested in them. No more than usual. What causes this is that companies share holders are promised 10-15% growth every year. Can't possibly be done in current product, so you aquire. Most people don't know or care about EA/Take-two or UTC/Diebold. Most people who own UTC stock probably couldn't even name a product.
      • Only high profile because you happen to know/be interested in them. No more than usual.

        Actually, the only reason I've noticed is because they've shown up in articles here on Slashdot. :^).

  • Diebold expects major ups and downs in the near future.
  • Maybe they figure that Diebold with offer synergy with their other wannabe shadowy businesses like making silent black helicopters. I live near the Sikorsky plant and they do, in fact, make black helicopters. They will have to work on the silent part, however. These black helicopters are most definitely not silent.
  • Hostile Takeover (Score:5, Interesting)

    by deacent ( 32502 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @11:28AM (#22623662)

    I actually read about this in my local paper Hartford Courant [] this morning. I don't think the CNN article really does a good job indicating the "hostile" in this hostile takeover. Note the part where Laurer directed UTC not to have further contact with board members.

    My impression is that UTC has been getting more heavily into security over the last several years and they are probably more interested the ATM/check machine aspect of Diebold, in spite of Diebold's entanglements with voting machines.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @11:52AM (#22623942) Homepage Journal
    Seems to me that the company dependent on the Pentagon shouldn't have the kind of say in counting votes for office that determine the Pentagon's budget.

    Not while their products are closed systems, able to be rigged in secret, anyway.
  • That's all the US needs - overt ownership of election tallying systems by part of the Military Industrial Complex. Yeah, I am sure that the United States should look forward to an era of peace and prosperity.. >:|
  • Why on earth would anyone want to buy them? After having repeatedly demostrated nothing but utter incompetence even their name is in negative equity. You'd be better starting a new company rather than try to rebuild the Diebold name.
  • ...I thought when reading the headline without glasses, $2.68 is a fair price for this company, but I bet there are some of us who don't even want to spend more than a dollar on it, given their track record so far.
  • Stocked rised to 60% and Diebold just rejected the offer.

    I think we may have been set up. Hook, line and sinker.
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Monday March 03, 2008 @03:56PM (#22627080) Homepage Journal
    And until about 3 months ago were looking to sell themselves out of it. Election systems were never a money maker for Diebold and conspiracy theories notwithstanding, they have a fairly good record outside of the US. However they don't make much money in it. They also don't spend much money addressing public concerns which in any other venue would make sense, financially. But they're discovering that in the US election systems are like a public trust and require more investment than return.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"