M&A

L3 acquires space tech firm Applied Defense Solutions

L3 Technologies said Monday it has acquired aerospace engineering and space technology company Applied Defense Solutions for $50 million.

The addition of Columbia, Maryland-based ADS seeks to grow L3's space situational awareness offerings and in particular those in multi-domain command and control, L3 CEO Chris Kubasik said in a release.

Space was a key area of emphasis in the Defense Department's national security strategy released in December 2017 and was called out as a contested domain with China and Russia as emerging players.

Applied Defense Solutions will be renamed L3 ADS and contribute $15 million in sales for the rest of this year. L3 expects the business to generate $50 million in sales next calendar year.

ADS' customers include defense and intelligence agencies, plus NASA and others with space programs. The company's services include space systems mission planning, space exploration and satellite operations with a focus on protection and resiliency.

Investment bank The McLean Group was ADS' adviser on the deal.

Kubasik took over as CEO of L3 at the start of this year and has sought to recast the New York City-based defense contractor as a "nontraditional sixth prime" with acquisitions a main lever at its disposal to grow technologies and customer reach.

ADS represents L3's first acquisition of this year so far and Kubasik has indicated the company is ready to be a busy dealmaker this year if the opportunities present themselves.

L3 in May closed the sale of Vertex Aerospace and two other units for $540 million as part of that shift. Two years earlier, L3 sold its government services business known as National Security Solutions to CACI International to gain more focus on platform-related work.

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 find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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