Lockheed predicts Aerojet acquisition will close next quarter

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WASHINGTON ― Lockheed Martin’s $4.4 billion acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, one quarter later than expected, Lockheed chief executive Jim Taiclet said Tuesday on the company’s earnings call.

“The Aerojet Rocketdyne transaction continues moving through the regulatory approval process. And we now anticipate closing in the first quarter of 2022,” Taiclet said.

Since the Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed announced the deal late last year, it’s seen pushback because it would allow the country’s largest defense contractor to absorb a key supplier of solid-fuel rocket motors.

Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon Technologies came out against the transaction, while congressional sentiment on the deal has been mixed. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., asked the Federal Trade Commission to apply deeper scrutiny to the deal and its impact on competition, though a group of 13 lawmakers said they support it.

Overall, the company lowered revenue projections by 2.5 percent in 2021 due to plans for fewer F-35 jets, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and pandemic-related supply chain problems.

Company officials said they see growth coming through its share of the Pentagon’s hypersonic programs and potentially some classified work ― as well as existing programs like the CH-53K King Stallion program and the expanding Next-Generation Interceptor effort.

Jen Judson contributed to this report.

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