WSJ Reports Northrop Grumman to Buy Orbital ATK

WSJ Reports Northrop Grumman to Buy Orbital ATK

The Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight that Northrop Grumman is close to a deal to purchase Orbital ATK. An announcement could come as early as tomorrow (Monday).  The two companies are major defense contractors with substantial involvement in space programs, though they are only part of each company’s broad portfolios. [UPDATE, September 18:  OrbitalATK confirms this morning that it will be acquired by Northrop Grumman for $9.2 billion ($7.8 billion in cash plus the assumption of $1.4 billion in net debt.]

Northrop Grumman has more than 60,000 employees in all 50 states and more than 25 countries.  Net sales in 2016 were $24.5 billion.  It describes itself as “a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions to government and commercial customers…”  Among its best known space programs are NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and DOD’s Space-Based InfraRed System (SBIRS).

Orbital ATK, formed by the 2015 merger of Orbital Sciences Corporation and ATK, may be best known today in space circles for its commercial cargo system for NASA (the Cygnus spacecraft, which can be launched on Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket or United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V), commercial communications satellites, and government earth remote sensing satellites.  The company has annual revenues of about $4.5 billion, with a workforce of 13,000.

Both companies are headquartered in Virginia.

This is a breaking news story that will be updated as more information becomes available.

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