Titan-Lockheed deal may be dead

After delays and continuing legal woes, Lockheed Martin Corp.'s planned acquisition of Titan Corp. is all but dead.

Titan had until today to settle bribery allegations with the Justice Department before Lockheed Martin would agree to the acquisition, but Titan officials said last night that they would miss deadline. They also said they did not anticipate a further amendment to the two companies' merger agreement.

Jeff Adams, a Lockheed Martin spokesman, said the merger agreement would remain in place until the end of the day. He added that the company previously postponed the deal's deadline twice and would not grant another extension.

The Justice Department has been investigating bribery allegations that Titan employees made illegal payments to foreign government officials in exchange for business. The investigation has stalled the completion of a $2.2 billion buyout by Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin, which announced its intention to buy the San Diego defense company last September.

Lockheed Martin reduced its offer from $2.4 billion in April because of investigations by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to Titan's news release, Lockheed Martin Corp. informed the company yesterday that it would not extend the June 25 deadline. The companies' merger agreement stipulates that Titan must either be exonerated by the Justice Department or enter a plea agreement by today. If a plea is not entered, either company can terminate the merger agreement after today, provided that the party ending the agreement has not breached its obligations under the deal's terms.

Titan's shareholders overwhelmingly approved the deal June 7, after a previously scheduled vote was postponed due to the investigations.

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