United Technologies to sell aircraft business for $9 billion

United Technologies Corp., which employs about 500 in the Charlotte region, has reached an agreement to sell its Connecticut-based Sikorksy Aircraft business to defense company Lockheed Martin Corp. for $9 billion in cash.

The sale of the business will allow UTC to better focus on providing high-technology systems and services to aerospace and building industry clients and to provide value to shareholders and customers, Gregory Hayes, UTC president and chief executive officer, said in a statement Monday.

The company has said that Sikorsky didn’t fit with its plans for long-term growth. UTC said it intended to sell the business last month.

The Sikorksy sale is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of 2015 or the first quarter of 2016.

UTC also said Monday that its board has approved a share repurchase program for up to 75 million shares of the company’s common stock, which would be worth about $8.3 billion. The new repurchase program replaces a prior one that was approved in February 2013 and is now nearing its end.

The aerospace and building systems company employs about 300 at its UTC Aerospace Systems headquarters in Charlotte, and about 200 in Monroe.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta