Top Headlines: Aerojet Rocketdyne opens Huntsville factory, UA records detail Culverhouse discord

United Technologies, Raytheon to create $120B defense giant
United Technologies Corp agreed on Sunday to combine its aerospace business with U.S. contractor Raytheon Co and create a new company worth about $121 billion, in what would be the sector’s biggest ever merger. The deal would reshape the competitive landscape by forming a conglomerate which spans commercial aviation and defense procurement. United Technologies provides primarily commercial plane makers with electronics, communications and other equipment, whereas Raytheon mainly supplies the U.S. government with military aircraft and missile equipment. Both companies do business in Alabama. – Reuters

Aerojet Rocketdyne opens Huntsville rocket factory
After almost two years of construction, Aerojet Rocketdyne held a ribbon cutting Friday of a brand new 136,000 square foot advanced manufacturing facility. The relationship between Aerojet Rocketdyne and the city of Huntsville began more than 50 years ago, but now the company is making a big investment in the rocket city. Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO Eileen Drake says the facility will be used primarily for defense work but it will take part in some space manufacturing. – WHNT

Emails show decision to return funds preceded abortion comments
The University of Alabama planned to return Hugh Culverhouse Jr.’s donation and remove his name from the law school at least four days before Culverhouse called for a boycott of the school following the state’s passage of an abortion ban. According to emails sent to AL.com, Finnis St. John, chancellor of UA System, suggested Culverhouse’s $21.5 million donation be returned on May 25, four days before Culverhouse spoke out about the abortion legislation. That followed a May 24 email request from Culverhouse that the University return $10 million. – AL.com

- Sponsor -

Governor wants to think twice about restoring Amtrak service
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she needs more information before the state commits funding to help restore Amtrak train service. Her comments on Saturday came a day after the project to return passenger train service from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama took a big step forward when officials announced a $33 million federal grant for needed improvements. Amtrak suspended service east of New Orleans after Katrina caused heavy damage. – The Advocate

Alabama Power to close nearly half of its business locations
Alabama Power customers are about to see a big change by the end of August this year. Almost half of their business locations are closing doors by summers’ end, which will impact the jobs of several dozen people. A spokesperson told ABC 33/40 40 of the 86 business office locations will close by August 30th. – ABC3340

Regions to acquire Highlands Associates
Regions Bank announced on Friday it has reached an agreement to acquire Highland Associates Inc., a leading institutional investment firm that provides objective, research-driven investment counsel to not-for-profit healthcare entities and mission-based organizations. Highland Associates is based in Birmingham, Alabama, and advises clients throughout the United States. – Yahoo Finance

The latest Alabama business news delivered to your inbox