Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings (AJRD) rose 28.38% to $53.97 before the New York markets opened after it was reported in the (Bloomberg) that Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. is being acquired by Lockheed Martin in a deal worth $4.4 billion.
An additional $5 per share special dividend was declared by Aerojet as part of the transaction. It will be paid on March 24 to shareholders of record on March 10. A statement released by Lockheed Martin on Sunday indicates that its share price will be adjusted to $56 per share following payment of the special dividend. The shares surged before the markets opened on Monday.
The deal at $51 represents a 21% premium over the closing price on Friday. Lockheed CEO Jim Taiclet has said he is interested in expanding the world’s most prestigious defense contractor through acquisitions. The deal brings him a key U.S. supplier of propulsion systems for missiles, rockets, and other space and defense applications.
Lockheed keeps an eye out for deals. When competitor Raytheon Co. announced it would combine with United Technologies Corp. to create an aerospace and defense powerhouse, the company said it had ample cash on hand and was open to deals.
In the second half of 2021, the Aerojet deal is expected to close after receiving regulatory approvals and approval from the shareholders of Aerojet.
Lockheed’s space division, which accounts for 18% of its annual revenue, is the third-largest business in the company. Through its joint venture with Boeing Co., United Launch Alliance, the company competes with Elon Musk’s SpaceX for U.S. government rocket launches.