Aerojet Rocketdyne
Aerojet Rocketdyne Rs25 Engine 800

Lockheed Buying Rocket Builder Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.4B

Dec. 21, 2020
The defense giant will acquire the rocket engine and missile propulsion system manufacturer to enhance its competitive position for U.S. government space-program contracts.

Lockheed Martin Corp. agreed to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc., a Sacramento-based manufacturer of rocket engines and missile propulsion systems, in an estimated $4.4-billion deal. Analysts described the pending deal as an effort by Lockheed to remain competitive with SpaceX and others for U.S. government contracts.

"Acquiring Aerojet Rocketdyne will preserve and strengthen an essential component of the domestic defense industrial base and reduce costs for our customers and the American taxpayer," stated Lockheed Martin president and CEO James Taiclet, Lockheed Martin president and CEO. "This transaction enhances Lockheed Martin's support of critical U.S. and allied security missions and retains national leadership in space and hypersonic technology. We look forward to welcoming their talented team and expanding Lockheed Martin's position as the leading provider of 21st century warfare solutions."

The two businesses already have business ties: Aerojet Rocketdyne is manufacturing parts of the propulsion systems for the Orion deep-space capsule Lockheed is building for NASA. Some Aerojet thrusters are installed for NASA's Perseverance rover mission to Mars, another program in which Lockheed is involved.

Lockheed indicated it will close the acquisition in the second half of 2021 -- subject to regulatory approvals and approval by Aerojet Rocketdyne's stockholders.

Aerojet Rocketdyne had 2019 approximately $2 billion, with 15 U.S. operations and nearly 5,000 employees.

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