Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. is set to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings in a $5 billion deal, which is a 33% premium above Aerojet’s Dec. 18 stock closing price. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021.
Lockheed has a large operation in Camden, Ark., and Aerojet has a rocket motor testing facility affiliated with the Camden operations.
A large steel casting bell used to help build large solid rocket motors for the Atlas V rocket was in March 2020 installed in Aerojet Rocketdyne’s plant in Camden. The bell, relocated from Sacramento, Calif., is part of a new investment in its Camden facility. In Camden, the Aerojet Rocketdyne bell will be used to produce large solid rocket motors for programs, including hypersonics and intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Camden facility will be able to produce motors up to 470 inches long and up to 100 inches in diameter. Aerojet is a vendor to Lockheed Martin on the project.
“We are pleased to bring together our complementary companies in a transformative transaction that will provide premium cash value for our stockholders and tremendous benefits for our employees, customers and partners,” said Eileen Drake, CEO and president of El Segundo, Calif.-based Aerojet. “Joining Lockheed Martin is a testament to the world-class organization and team we’ve built and represents a natural next phase of our evolution. As part of Lockheed Martin, we will bring our advanced technologies together with their substantial expertise and resources to accelerate our shared purpose: enabling the defense of our nation and space exploration.”
Lockheed Martin in October 2019 broke ground on a new $142 million Long Range Fires Production Facility in Camden that is estimated to add 326 jobs. Once construction is complete by the beginning of 2021, the new Long Range facility will add more than 70,000-square-feet of production and office space to the current property in Highland Industrial Park, supporting increased orders for the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), the Low-Cost Reduced-Range Practice Rocket (LCRRPR) and other associated work.