Third Point cuts United Technologies stake after opposing Raytheon deal

BOSTON (Reuters) – Hedge fund Third Point LLC said on Tuesday that it recently cut its investment in United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), becoming the second activist hedge fund to sell shares after the company announced a merger with Raytheon Co. (RTN.N) that the funds said they would not support.

FILE PHOTO – Daniel S. Loeb, founder of Third Point LLC, participates in a panel discussion during the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada May 9, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

The New York-based firm sold 480,000 shares of United Technologies stock during the second quarter, cutting its holding by 7 percent to 6 million shares, according to a regulatory filing made on Tuesday.

In June, Third Point founder Daniel Loeb told the company its plan to merge with Raytheon was a “baffling change” in strategy.

Last week William Ackman, another prominent activist investor, told clients that his Pershing Square Capital Management had sold all of its 5.8 million United Technologies shares.

Ackman was the first to voice strong opposition to the proposed merger and wrote to United Technologies’ chief executive in early June that he could not understand the deal’s logic.

Both hedge funds, whose moves can influence other investors, told United Technologies that they did not approve of the deal, which is expected to come to a vote next year.

United Technologies is in the process of streamlining its operations, actions both hedge funds endorsed, by selling off its Otis elevator and Carrier buildings systems units.

The sales by both Ackman and Loeb are noteworthy because United Technologies had been

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