L3-Harris mega deal nearly complete but the hard work of integration remains

Excluding possible others to come, the government market’s seemingly endless churn of mega-mergers and acquisitions has its biggest combination ever awaiting closure sometime in the middle of this year: L3 Technologies and Harris Corp.

But then comes the hard part of putting both companies together during the integration phase and making what will be the defense industry’s sixth prime. Around that time will come the announcement of what the future L3 Harris Technologies’ management structure and combined board of directors will look like.

Naturally that leads interested observers to try and ask what it will look like anyway, as L3 CEO Chris Kubasik told a group of reporters Thursday with a wry smile.

“The interesting thing on the board is that I was meeting with investors earlier this week… a lot of questions on capital deployment, portfolio shaping and such, because we don’t actually have a company board formed,” Kubasik said in the briefing at L3’s Arlington, Virginia office.

While integration planning is ongoing, L3 and Harris do have a few regulatory approvals to wait on before closing the merger. Kubasik said the Justice Department is still reviewing the deal, as are the European Union and Turkey.

Kubasik did not give a timeline on when those approvals could arrive, but analysts at Cowen & Company said in a Thursday research note that DOJ and the European Union approvals “are expected on or soon after June 21st.” That would put the deal on track to close approximately June 30, the analysts noted.

The companies have cleared one milestone they set for themselves to work the transaction through the U.S. antitrust process. Harris announced in April the sale of its night vision business to Elbit Systems' U.S. subsidiary in the wake of a second request from DOJ on the impending merger.

Next up: closing the deal, and then the work begins.

“Whatever day we close, which will be probably at 12:01, hopefully on a Saturday, that Saturday we’ll have a board meeting which we’ll have numerous things that we need to do,” he added. “Literally a long list, and a lot of these things we obviously have to review before, which doesn’t exist because we don’t have a company.

“It will be an interesting 12 hours when we go from nothing to something.”

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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