A large aerospace company with a major presence in Utah has been purchased by defense contracting giant Northrop Grumman. Orbital ATK will become part of the Northrop Grumman family at a price tag of $9.2 billion. Orbital ATK develops and tests propulsion systems for rockets and manufactures composite components for aircraft for both the military and civilian companies.

Orbital ATK’s operations in Utah include facilities in Clearfield, Magna and, perhaps the most visible, its rocket testing operation in Promontory. Orbital ATK has about 3,000 employees in Utah with an annual payroll of almost $250 million. 

Northrop Grumman will acquire Orbital ATK for approximately $7.8 billion in cash plus the assumption of $1.4 billion in net debt. Orbital ATK shareholders will receive all-cash consideration of $134.50 per share. The agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and Orbital ATK shareholder approval. 

“The acquisition of Orbital ATK is an exciting strategic step as we continue to invest for profitable growth” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman. “Through our combination, customers will benefit from expanded capabilities, accelerated innovation and greater competition in critical global security domains. Our complementary portfolios and technology-focused cultures will yield significant value creation through revenue synergies associated with new opportunities, cost savings, operational synergies  and enhanced growth. We look forward to welcoming Orbital ATK’s talented employees to Northrop Grumman and believe our combined strength will benefit our customers and shareholders.” 

“We are very pleased to announce this agreement with Northrop Grumman. It reflects the tremendous value Orbital ATK has generated for our customers, shareholders and employees,” said David Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Orbital ATK. “The unique alignment in culture and mission offered by this transaction will allow us to maintain strong operational performance on existing programs while we pursue new opportunities that require the enhanced technical and financial resources of a larger organization. Our employees will also benefit from greater development and career opportunities as members of a larger, more diverse aerospace and defense enterprise. We will remain focused on operational excellence and execution during and after the transition into Northrop Grumman.” 

Upon completion of the acquisition, Northrop Grumman plans to establish Orbital ATK as a new, fourth business sector to ensure a strong focus on operating performance and a smooth transition into Northrop Grumman, the company said in a release concerning the acquisition. 

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