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Lockheed Drops Aerojet Takeover Bid

Feb. 15, 2022
After the Federal Trade Commission sued to block the $4.4-billion deal in late January, the defense giant backed away – citing “the best interest of our stakeholders.”

Lockheed Martin Corp. called an end to its year-long effort to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings in a $4.4-billion deal, after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued to block the transaction in late January. FTC claimed that Lockheed would use its control of Aerojet – a supplier of advanced power, propulsion, and armament systems that are critical components of missile systems – to undercut the competitiveness of other defense contractors (e.g., Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Technologies), and consolidate several national defense/security markets.

"Our planned acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne would have benefitted the entire industry through greater efficiency, speed, and significant cost reductions for the U.S. government," said Lockheed chairman James Taiclet maintained in a statement. "However, we determined that in light of the FTC's actions, terminating the transaction is in the best interest of our stakeholders.”

When Lockheed announced a takeover agreement with Aerojet Rocketdyne in December 2020 analysts described it as an effort by Lockheed to remain competitive with SpaceX and others for U.S. government contracts.

Later, it was suggested that Aerojet would provide propulsion and power systems that would be critical to Lockheed’s hypersonic weapons developments.

"Moving forward, we will maintain our focus on the most effective use of capital with the highest return on investment, including our ongoing commitment to return value to shareholders,” Taiclet pledged. “We remain confident in our company's strong foundation and growth potential as several exciting projects enter production. hy

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