Federal antitrust officials seek more Northrop-Orbital deal info

The Federal Trade Commission has submitted a second request to Northrop Grumman for more information to review the company’s $7.8 billion acquisition of smaller rival defense contractor Orbital ATK.

Northrop and Orbital expected the request and continue to eye closure on the combination in the first half of 2018, the companies said Wednesday.

A second request from the FTC can place a burden on companies as they must allocate additional time and resources to collect information for an antitrust review. Second requests can lead to concessions from the buyer in order for a deal to receive government approval.

First announced in September, the deal would create the third-largest public defense contractor at $29.5 billion-$30 billion in annual revenue as Northrop seeks to become a more formidable player in space and missile defense.

The transaction cleared one hurdle in late November when Orbital ATK shareholders approved the deal in a near-unanimous vote. Northrop will assume $1.4 billion in Orbital ATK debt.

This is the biggest defense sector transaction in two years since Lockheed Martin acquired helicopter maker Sikorsky for $9 billion

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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