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Lockheed Martin Locks In On Sikorsky Acquisition With $9 Billion

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Lockheed Martin Corp is buying Sikorsky Aircraft in a $9 billion deal, as it just entered a definitive agreement.

Sikorsky Aircraft is the helicopter unit of United Technologies Corp. Lockheed Martin is interested in Sikorsky's military and commercial rotary-wing aircraft, seeking to combine it with its own systems and products.

Of the $9 billion, Lockheed Martin points out that the price actually comes out to roughly $7.1 billion after tax benefits stemming from the deal.

Lockheed Martin further notes that it will mull the potential sale or spinoff of $6 billion in other IT and services businesses.

"Sikorsky is a natural fit for Lockheed Martin and complements our broad portfolio of world-class aerospace and defense products and technologies," Marillyn Hewson, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin, noted in the press release on Monday, July 20.

"I'm confident this acquisition will help us extend our core businesses 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."

In addition to this endeavor, Lockheed Martin also plans to strategically review its alternatives, mulling the options it has for its government information technology and technical services businesses. The company aims to focus on the Information Systems & Global Solutions segment of business, as well as part of the Missiles and Fire Control segment. The programs it plans to review account for roughly $6 billion in estimated annual sales for 2015, amassing more than 17,000 employees in total.

Lockheed Martin is the Pentagon's largest supplier, and Sikorsky's commercial and military rotary-wing aircraft would significantly widen the company's range and expertise. Lockheed is already well known for its F-35 fighter jets, as well as naval ships and government satellites.

At the same time, the deal also consolidates Lockheed Martin's lead in making weapons, while also paving the way to crucial new foreign markets and giving it a significant edge against its closest rivals, Boeing and Northrop Grumman.

According to Lockheed Martin, the purchase will have no impact on its pledge to return cash through dividends to shareholders and lower the number of outstanding shares to below 300 million by the end of 2017.

The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval, but Lockheed Martin expects to close the deal by late 2015 or early 2016.

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