L3Harris Technologies Inc. announced an agreement to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. in a $4.7 billion transaction that would cement L3Harris' position as one of the Pentagon's six primary defense contractors.
Aerojet is a major manufacturer of missile engines, including the Javelin used by Ukraine. Its product also helps power NASA rockets and US military hypersonic systems designed to counter China's military expansion.
Aerojet was relisted for sale after federal regulators filed suit in January 2022 to block Lockheed Martin Corporation's planned $4.4 billion acquisition of the company on antitrust grounds, sparking a bitter internal board battle.
According to individuals involved in the negotiations, L3Harris' all-cash offer of $58 per share trumped competing bids from General Electric Co. and Textron Inc. A transaction is anticipated to face intense regulatory scrutiny at a time when Aerojet is also experiencing production difficulties.
Located in Melbourne, Florida, L3Harris, with an estimated $40 billion market value, is the result of a 2019 merger between L3 Technologies Inc. and Harris Corp. The merger created a company with a wide range of products, including military radios, classified space hardware, and air-traffic control systems.