Emcore picks up L3Harris business to revive it

“We see lots and lots of opportunities to extend the product line well out past the original group of customers,” Emcore CEO Jeffrey Rittichier said.

“We see lots and lots of opportunities to extend the product line well out past the original group of customers,” Emcore CEO Jeffrey Rittichier said. Courtesy of Emcore

L3Harris Technologies' decision to sell its space and navigation business to Emcore saves a unit that was otherwise languishing.

When I first saw the $5 million price tag on L3Harris Technologies' latest divestiture, I dismissed it as a teeny-tiny piece of business.

But for the employees and customers of L3Harris Space and Navigation unit, Tuesday's announcement that Emcore would acquire the business couldn’t be bigger or more important.

Think about it. They were a small operation with 45 employees inside a huge organization with 47,000 other employees and weren't going to get much attention in that situation.

Business development activities halted altogether when L3Harris decided the space and navigation business wasn’t core.

L3Harris wasn't going to put more resources into the business. So if Emcore doesn't enter the picture, we’d likely be watching a slow and painful death.

Emcore plans to integrate the L3Harris navigation products into its own line of fiber-optic and ring-laser gyroscopes. The unit will maintain an ongoing relationship with L3Harris and other companies such as United Launch Alliance.

“We see lots and lots of opportunities to extend the product line well out past the original group of customers,” Emcore CEO Jeffrey Rittichier told investors in a Tuesday conference call.

Emcore expects the L3Harris business to add about $20 million-to-$25 million in annual revenue. Rittichier added that Emcore faces other costs beyond the $5 million price tag such as $3 million-to-$5 million in restructuring expenses over the next few years.

The manufacturing facility that Emcore is picking up is larger than what is needed, but Chief Financial Officer Thomas Minnichiello said moving out will bring some costs as well.

The transaction is expected to close by June 30.

“This is an excellent fit strategically for Emcore, bringing Space and Navigation’s strong brand, inertial technology, and important program wins. It also expands EMCORE’s market reach into launch vehicle and space satellite markets, both of which are seeing significant growth,” Rittichier said in a company press release.

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