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Lockheed Martin Ends $4.4B Deal To Buy Rocketdyne After Tough Merger Review

 |  February 13, 2022

US arms maker Lockheed Martin said on Sunday it terminated its plan to acquire rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.4 billion.

The move comes after the US Federal Trade Commission, last month, voted unanimously to sue to block the deal over antitrust concerns.

Related: FTC Looks To Block Lockheed Martin’s $4.4B Aerojet Deal

The merger, which was announced in late 2020, drew criticism as it would give Lockheed a dominant position over solid fuel rocket motors, reported Reuters. 

The deal has attracted opposition in the US Congress including from Senator Elizabeth Warren. She has expressed keen interest in corporate behavior and asked the FTC to examine the premise and efficacy of internal firewalls such as those Lockheed has proposed to prevent it from gaining a competitive advantage over peers once the deal closes, according to a July 16 letter. 

Warren more generally has asked the FTC to take a tougher look at defense industry mergers.

The US Department of Defense drafted a memo last fall that did not oppose the deal outright, but expressed that if merged the company should follow guidelines on how it conducted business, according to a person familiar with the memo.

Lockheed’s Chief Executive James Taiclet said the acquisition would have improved efficiency, speed and cut costs for the US government, but that terminating the agreement was in its stakeholders’ best interest.

Lockheed previously said it would not pay a termination fee if the deal failed because of opposition from antitrust enforcers, reported Reuters.

If the deal had ended up in court, it would have been the first litigated defense merger challenge in decades, according to FTC.

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