ATK grabs Swales Aerospace

Alliant Techsystems Inc. will acquire Swales Aerospace Inc., a provider of satellite components and subsystems, and engineering services to the government and commercial sectors. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The purchase is aimed at making ATK a major provider of satellite components, subsystems and small spacecraft, and furthering the company's goal of becoming a key partner in government and industry space programs. Privately held Swales has a 28-year history of engineering services to NASA. It also sells to the Defense Department and commercial satellite customers.

Swales' more than 900 aerospace specialists will expand ATK's systems engineering capabilities and play a key role in ATK's plans to pursue strategic initiatives in space exploration programs, the company said.

ATK expects to realize more than $100 million in additional revenue in fiscal 2008 as a result of the acquisition. Swales reported revenue of $193 million in 2005.

Swales Areospace headquarters in Beltsville, Md., will become the headquarters of ATK's new Space Division, a unit of ATK's Mission Systems Group. The division, to be led by Mike Cerneck, chief executive officer of Swales Aerospace, will inherit the space structures and subsystems operations of ATK's current Space Systems and Sensors Division.

Swales was advised on the deal by Houlihan Lokey Howard and Zukin, a Los Angeles-based international investment bank.

ATK of Minneapolis, an advanced weapon and space systems provider, has about 15,500 employees. The company's stock opened Thursday morning at $89.50 a share on the New York Stock Exchange, up 18 cents from Wednesday's close.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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