Dec 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Lockheed Martin acquires Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.4 billion

Illustration of rocket with giant price tag

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) agreed to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE: AJRD) for $4.4 billion in cash (including assumed debt).

Why it matters: This reflects how legacy defense companies are racing to keep up with Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in space, a dynamic that also helped drive Raytheon's merger effort with United Technologies Corp. Plus, this is the exact type of company that will be seeking Space Force bids, maybe getting cool branding logos on the Guardian outfits.

Details: Lockheed will pay $56 per share (33% premium over Friday's closing price), which will be reduced to $51 after payment of a pre-closing dividend.

Flashback: Aerojet in 2015 offered to pay $2 billion to buy a rocket launch joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed, but was rebuffed by Boeing.

The bottom line:

"The acquisition signals Lockheed’s continued interest in the areas of hypersonic weapons and space — two major technology development priorities for the Defense Department and two areas of increased investment in recent years. In particular, the acquisition would add 'substantial expertise' to Lockheed in the area of propulsion, as Aerojet’s engines are already part of its supply chain across the company’s space, aeronautics and missile and fire control business units."
Valerie Insinna of DefenseNews
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