July 20, 2018 / 10:37 PM / in 3 months

Esterline Technologies exploring potential sale - sources

(Reuters) - Aerospace parts maker Esterline Technologies Corp (ESL.N) is exploring a potential sale, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Earlier on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was exploring a sale, adding that the process was at an early stage and there was no guarantee of a deal.

Esterline did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Shares of the company, which has a market capitalisation of more than $2 billion, were up around 10 percent at $83 in afternoon trading.

Esterline makes cockpit components and sensors for commercial jetliners, business jets and military aircraft such as Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) F-35 fighter jets.

Any deal would add to a spate of consolidation in the industry, as companies look to deploy accrued cash at the same time as defence spending kicks up and firms search for more ways to grow capacity.

In September last year United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) acquired Rockwell Collins for $30 billion, and in March TransDigm Group (TDG.N) continued an acquisition spree with a $525 million deal for Extant Components Group.

Most recently, in June, Northrop Grumman (NOC.N) won U.S. antitrust approval to complete its $7.8 billion acquisition of rocket maker Orbital ATK.

Reporting by Mike Stone in Farnborough, England; Additional reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Rosalba O'Brien

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