Boeing to take C4ISR provider Argon ST under its wing

Acquisition will cost defense giant $775 million in cash

The Boeing Co. will acquire Argon ST in an all-cash tender offer and merger for $34.50 per share, or approximately $775 million.

The agreement to acquire the developer of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and combat systems advances Boeing's growth strategy and expands the company’s capabilities to address the C4ISR, cyber and intelligence markets, according to a statement issued today by Boeing.

Founded in 1997 and based in Fairfax, Va., Argon ST develops sensors and networks designed to exploit, analyze and deliver information for real-time situational awareness.

In fiscal 2009, the company generated $366 million in revenues, according to the Boeing statement.

Argon ST has offices in Virginia, California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland and Texas, and has approximately 1,000 employees.

Argon ST will become a stand-alone subsidiary of Boeing and a new division of Boeing Network & Space Systems, a business within the Boeing Defense, Space & Security operating unit in St. Louis, the defense giant said.

Argon ST will continue to be led by Terry Collins, chairman and CEO, and his management team, which will help ensure a seamless transition for employees and customers.

The purchase agreement follows two years of partnering with Argon ST, said Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

“Combining the strength of Boeing with the experience of Argon ST will significantly accelerate our capabilities in sensors, communications technologies and information management,” he said.

As a unit of Boeing, Argon ST will continue to provide leading-edge network-based communications solutions for domestic and international customers, including the Navy, Air Force and the Homeland Security Department, Roger Krone, president of Boeing Network & Space Systems, said in the statement.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter 2010, subject to a majority of the outstanding Argon ST shares being tendered, as well as satisfactory completion of other customary closing conditions.

Boeing plans to fund the transaction with existing cash. The acquisition is expected to have an immaterial impact on Boeing's earnings, the company said.

Boeing Co., of Chicago, ranks No. 3 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

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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