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Aerojet Rocketdyne to be Acquired by L3Harris

Aerojet Rocketdyne Stockholders Overwhelmingly Approve Deal

At a special 16 March 2023 meeting, Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. announced that 99.7-percent of its stockholders had voted in favor of L3Harris Technologies’ proposed acquisition of the El Segundo, California-headquartered aerospace propulsion firm and its diversified holdings.

Aerojet Rocketdyne president and CEO Eileen P. Drake stated: “We are pleased with the strong support of our stockholders for this transaction with L3Harris. Today’s stockholder approval is another milestone in the process of bringing together our two world-class organizations to accelerate innovation and strengthen competition for national security and space exploration propulsion solutions. We remain focused on completing this transaction and delivering the significant expected benefits for our employees, customers, partners, and the communities in which we operate.”

The two companies expect to close the acquisition transaction in 2023, subject to requisite regulatory approvals, clearances, and additional customary closing protocols.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. is a holding company of Aerojet Rocketdyne, an American manufacturer of rocket, hypersonic, and electric propulsion systems for defense, civil, commercial, and space applications. The latter entity derives of two formerly discrete companies: Aerojet, which traces its origins to the 1915 establishment of the General Tire and Rubber Company—which later diversified into the fields of broadcasting (RKO General) and aeronautics—and Rocketdyne, a division of storied but defunct U.S. aircraft OEM North American Aviation. Spun off from its parent company in 1955, Rocketdyne was founded to develop rocket motors deriving of the German V-2 rockets of the Second World War.

In addition to Aerojet Rocketdyne, the holding company comprises the real estate firm Easton Development Company, LLC, through which it owns over 12,000 acres of land near Sacramento, California. In the 1950s, subject land was given over primarily to the testing and manufacture of Aerojet’s components and products. Owing to the firm’s own evolution and an increasingly restrictive regulatory environment, the land is currently being redeveloped by the company for residential and commercial use.

On 20 December 2020, it was announced that Lockheed Martin would acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.4-billion. However, the deal, which was expected to close in 2022’s first quarter, was opposed by Raytheon Technologies. In time, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued to block the proposed acquisition, alleging it occasioned the elimination of the U.S.’s largest independent maker of rocket motors. In February 2022, Lockheed withdrew from the deal.

In December 2022, L3Harris Technologies agreed to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne for a cash payment of $4.7-billion. Whether or not the FTC again opposes the latter company’s acquisition remains to be seen.



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