[SatNews] Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Sikorsky Aircraft, a world leader in military and commercial rotary-wing aircraft, for $9.0 billion. The price is effectively reduced to approximately $7.1 billion, after taking into account tax benefits resulting from the transaction.
The acquisition is subject to customary conditions, including securing regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by late fourth quarter 2015 or early first quarter 2016. The transaction will have no impact on the company’s previously stated commitments to return cash to shareholders through dividends and to reduce outstanding share count to below 300 million shares by the end of 2017.
Lockheed Martin and United Technologies Corporation have agreed to make a joint election under Section 338(h)(10) of the Internal Revenue Code, which treats the transaction as an asset purchase for tax purposes. The election generates a tax benefit with an estimated present value of $1.9 billion for Lockheed Martin and its shareholders.
The Corporation plans to align Sikorsky under the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training (MST) business segment. MST and Stratford, Connecticut, based Sikorsky currently partner on a number of critical programs, including the VH-92 Presidential Helicopter, Combat Rescue Helicopter and the Naval MH-60 Helicopter.
Separately, Lockheed Martin will conduct a strategic review of alternatives for its government IT and technical services businesses, primarily in the Information Systems & Global Solutions business segment and a portion of the Missiles and Fire Control business segment. The programs to be reviewed represent roughly $6 billion in estimated 2015 annual sales and more than 17,000 employees.
“Sikorsky is a natural fit for Lockheed Martin and complements our broad portfolio of world-class aerospace and defense products and technologies,” said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin chairman, president and CEO. “I’m confident this acquisition will help us extend our core business into the growing areas of helicopter production and sustainment. Together, we’ll offer a strong portfolio of helicopter solutions to our global customers and accelerate the pace of innovation and new technology development.”
“As global security market dynamics shift, this review will strengthen our competitive posture, enabling sustained, profitable growth and positioning Lockheed Martin to deliver value for customers, shareholders and employees,” Hewson said.