May 23, 2018 / 1:47 PM / 7 months ago

United Tech to invest $15 billion in U.S. over next five years

FILE PHOTO: United Technologies logo is displayed on a screen at the post where it's stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - United Technologies Corp said on Wednesday it would invest more than $15 billion for research and development and capacity expansion in the United States over the next five years, spurred by the recent tax cuts.

The company also plans to hire 35,000 people in this period and spend about $75 billion with U.S. suppliers to strengthen local economies.

The maker of Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines said about $9 billion of the investment is expected to go towards research and development, including on artificial intelligence and autonomy.

The remaining $6 billion will be used to increase capacity in existing manufacturing facilities and improve efficiency.

The announcement comes at a time when the company is facing pressures from activist shareholders who believe that a breakup into three businesses could unlock $20 billion in value.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Arun Koyyur

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