Northrop Grumman nears deal to purchase Orbital[-ATK], source says

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Northrop Grumman already owns Scaled Composites. By acquiring Orbital-ATK they obtain ATK's capability to build solid boosters (Shuttle SRB, SLS, etc.) and Orbital's space technologies, such as satellite manufacturing, the Cygnus cargo spacecraft and the Antares launcher.




Northrop Grumman nears deal to purchase Orbital, source says

Northrop Grumman neared an agreement to buy Orbital ATK in a transaction that could be announced as soon as Monday, according to a person familiar with the transaction.

The source requested anonymity because the deal has not been disclosed publicly.

Northrop Grumman declined to comment and Orbital did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Wall Street Journal reported the deal earlier on Sunday.
Northrop is valued at $46.5 billion, while Orbital is valued at $6.3 billion. The acquisition price could not be immediately determined, but could exceed $7.5 billion if a typical premium was attached to it, Wall Street Journal said

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Unobscured Vision

I hadn't heard about this, wow. They've been at the periphery for a while, a lot of secondary and tertiary manufacturing for Aerospace has been done by them for as far back as it goes; and certainly we all remember they're the ones responsible for the LEM and it's successes on the Moon during Apollo. And their aircraft were always pretty good too.


This could be the shot in the arm that OrbitalATK needs to really get back on track ... or it could mean an end to Cygnus (more likely). With SpaceX and Roscosmos having the bulk of Commercial Resupply well in hand, there really isn't a need for Orbital's resupply services as such but more options are always, always a good thing.


Obviously NG will be eyeballing the Mil/Gov side of OrbitalATK's portfolio. That's where the goods are anyway. ATK's got massive IP that likely will be leveraged appropriately, but chances are we'd never hear about 5/6th of it heh ...


So yeah. It'll be a good haul for NG both in IP and in contracts that are still active at Orbital; and a good way for NG to get their feet wet again in the Space arena.

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Unobscured Vision

Some additional movement in the acquisitions arena lately. Rockwell-Collins (Rockwell International's Avionics and Communications division that was spun off in 2001) is in negotiations to be purchased by United Technologies for $30 billion.


I'm sure everyone will be familiar with Rockwell-Collins. Anyone who has ever heard the legacy NASA Missions (Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, or Skylab) has heard their equipment being used -- it was Collins Radio Company gear that the Astronauts used every single mission, both upstream and downstream. They were IT, and the company was purchased by Rockwell International in 1973. Rockwell continued to make a killing off the IP and patents that CRC first envisioned and developed, many of which are still in use today (though evolved and refined). (Citation: here [Wikipedia] )


United Technologies (citation: will be quite familiar to all of us who follow Aerospace stuff too. They're best known for being a "hostile takeover" kind of company, and their subdivisions include a "who's who" of greats:


- Pratt & Whitney (the current licence holders of the RD-180 designs in the U.S.),

- UTC Aerospace,

- Sikorsky (bet THAT got your attention!),

- Otis Elevator Corp,

- Carrier Refrigerator Co. (yes, THEM),

- Mostek (them TOO!),

- Sundstrand (yep!),

- Hamilton (*nod*),

- Goodrich (yessir, THEM!),

- and on and on and on ...


United Technologies is MASSIVE and getting Rockwell-Collins will mean ... well, who knows but it's gonna put them squarely into the Mil/Gov arena like never before.


So this buyout has the potential to be even larger than NG's purchase of Orbital, or on equal footing depending on who you ask. It's still huge. 

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Unobscured Vision

This just in -- looks like the deal is finalized.


Announcement Link


Northrop Grumman to Acquire Orbital ATK for $9.2 Billion


FALLS CHURCH and DULLES, Va. – Sept. 18, 2017 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), a leading global security company, and Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which 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. 

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. On a pro forma 2017 basis, Northrop Grumman expects to have sales in the range of $29.5 to $30 billion based on current guidance. Northrop Grumman expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings per share and free cash flow per share in the first full year after the transaction closes, and to generate estimated annual pre-tax cost savings of $150 million by 2020.  

Northrop Grumman has received fully committed debt financing and expects to put in place permanent financing prior to closing. Northrop Grumman remains committed to maintaining a solid investment grade credit rating and will use its strong cash flow to support debt reduction, while continuing to pay a competitive dividend and repurchase shares.


(read more at the Announcement Link above)

Well then.

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Unobscured Vision

The day has progressed and it looks like the merger is going to see OrbitalATK's status as a division of Rockwell-Collins taking the company to heights it could never achieve on its' own. Aerojet Rocketdyne has thrown their hat into the mix, pledging their full support of Rockwell-Collins in future projects (the two companies have worked together fruitfully on projects in the past), and the plans for OrbitalATK going forward will see Rockwell's extensive Aerospace portfolio being licensed to the O/ATK division for use in NASA and Mil/Gov projects -- along with Aerojet Rocketdyne technologies


This is MASSIVE. They're aiming to become the next United Launch Alliance, directly competing with ULA, Boeing and Lockheed-Martin in the Aerospace, Military hardware and Satellite Industries.


That's what this purchase is all about. OrbitalATK has the rockets, the engines (and not just SRB's -- remember the deal with Russia for the RD-181's?), and the contracts with NASA. They've also got massive know-how and IP. NOW blend that IP with Aerojet's stuff ... truly serious contention with ULA is afoot. :yes: 


Let's get the boxing ring set up. It's gonna be a prize fight.

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Unobscured Vision

Oh, and I should note that Aerojet has the AR-1 engine just begging to have a platform designed around it. And that engine is a darned good one, too. OrbitalATK, with Rockwell-Collins' extensive Engineering expertise, should be able to accommodate nicely ... :yes: ... and we'll be seeing the next great RP-1 -based launcher.


Place yer bets! :D 

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ATK's large rocket expertise is in solid rocket boosters; Pegasus, Minotaur, SLS and a shuttle SRB's.


Their Next Generation Launch System is essentially the old Aries 1 concept, which ran into  thrust oscillation-created  acoustics which were  incompatible with sensitive electronics or living things. The only fix was damping the vibrations with several tons of ballast, which reduces your payload capacity.


Not to mention that the abort modes for large solid boosters are explosive and fugly,  especially on the pad or shortly after liftoff. Yeetch....


I would think that with NG in the driver's seat they would change  their focus for NGLS from ATK solids to creating a new liquid booster based on the Aerojet Rocketdyne AR-1 engine.


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Unobscured Vision

Yep. And with NG's history of project cooperation with Aerojet there won't be any shortage of availability engine-wise. That's what got me thinking almost immediately of "hey, they can use the AR-1" when I saw Aerojet's statement of a shared history and whatnot.

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