Dec 19, 2022 - Economy

L3Harris agrees to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.7 billion

Illustration of a roll of money with a rocket top and fins.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

L3Harris Technologies agreed to acquire rocket maker Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: This further consolidates a U.S. defense contractor market that has become fairly top heavy.

  • It also ends a two-year M&A saga, which began in December 2020 when Lockheed Martin agreed to buy Aerojet for $4.4 billion.
  • The FTC later sued to block that deal on antitrust grounds, causing Lockheed to walk away. Aerojet then launched a new takeover auction that would include bids from General Electric, Veritas Capital and Textron.

Sellers: Activist investor Elliott Investment Management holds a 3.7% stake in Aerojet.

More, per the FT: "Lockheed, Raytheon and Boeing, the three prime tactical missile contractors for the U.S. Department of Defense, rely on Aerojet and a Northrop Grumman subsidiary for critical components such as rocket motors. Its acquisition will make L3Harris a more important subcontractor for these three larger companies as well as the Pentagon."

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