Author Topic: Orbital and ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups to Combine in $5 Billion Merger  (Read 72937 times)

Online jacqmans

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18186
  • Houten, The Netherlands
  • Liked: 3786
  • Likes Given: 209
Presentation and webcast:

Eventual article on this:


Orbital and ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups to Combine in $5 Billion Merger-of-Equals to Create “Orbital ATK”, a New Global Aerospace and Defense Systems Company
-- Customers to Benefit from Broader Range of Technological Innovation and More Affordable Systems and Products in Space, Defense and Aviation Markets --

-- Shareholders to Benefit from Opportunities for Faster Growth and Stronger Earnings of Combined Enterprise With Compelling Operational and Financial Synergies --

-- Employees to Benefit from Greater Long-Term Career Opportunities as Part of a Leading Aerospace and Defense Manufacturer --

-- 9:00 a.m. Conference Call with Financial Analysts and Investors to be Webcast --

DULLES, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 29, 2014-- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE:ATK), which will combine Orbital and ATK’s Aerospace and Defense (A&D) Groups to create a $4.5 billion (combined calendar year 2013 annual revenue), 13,000-person space, defense and aviation systems developer and manufacturer. The new company, to be called Orbital ATK, Inc., will serve U.S. and international customers with leading positions in the markets for space launch vehicles and propulsion systems, tactical missiles and defense electronics, satellites and space systems, armament systems and ammunition, and commercial and military aircraft structures and related components. As part of the transaction, ATK will spin off its Sporting Group, which focuses on commercial sporting equipment, to its shareholders.

 The tax-free stock-for-stock merger-of-equals transaction, valued at approximately $5.0 billion based on Orbital’s closing stock price yesterday, will combine Orbital’s small- and medium-class satellite and launch vehicle product lines with ATK A&D’s rocket propulsion, composite structures and space power systems to produce even more capable and affordable space and missile defense products. At the same time, it will enhance ATK A&D’s strategic and tactical missile systems and propulsion, precision weapons and military armament, and commercial and military aircraft programs by leveraging Orbital’s systems design, engineering and integration capabilities to provide greater value-added to current and future customers.

Orbital ATK will draw on a talented and experienced group of leaders from both organizations for key governance and management positions. A 16-member Board of Directors will be led by Chairman Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman (U.S. Air Force, ret.) and will include seven directors from ATK’s Board and nine directors from Orbital’s Board.

Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s President and Chief Executive Officer, will be President and Chief Executive Officer of the new company; Mr. Blake E. Larson, President of ATK’s Aerospace Group, will serve as its Chief Operating Officer; and Mr. Garrett E. Pierce, Orbital’s Chief Financial Officer, will hold the same position in the new company. Other key management positions will be determined prior to the transaction’s closing, with an equitable and balanced selection of senior executives from each company expected in the new organization.

“This merger-of-equals combination of Orbital and ATK Aerospace and Defense brings together two of the space and defense industry’s most innovative developers and cost-efficient manufacturers who have worked closely together for over 25 years. By building on complementary technologies, products and know-how and highly-compatible cultures, the new Orbital ATK will deliver even more affordable space, defense and aviation systems to our existing customers and be strongly positioned to expand into adjacent areas,” said Mr. Thompson.

“The proposed merger will generate cost and revenue synergies and create a more streamlined and competitive operator,” said Mr. Mark W. DeYoung, ATK’s Chief Executive Officer. “We see opportunities to build on ATK’s success in Aerospace and Defense through a combination with Orbital’s proven track record in creating new launch vehicles, satellites and other advanced space technologies. We are both focused on enhancing the capability of existing customer systems by developing solutions that can be more flexibly deployed to support their mission with enhanced cost-effectiveness. We also see significant opportunities for growth as new programs are initiated or begin to ramp up production.”

Orbital ATK will employ about 13,000 people, including over 4,300 engineers and scientists and 7,400 production and operations specialists, at engineering centers, research laboratories, manufacturing facilities, and test and launch sites in 17 states. Employees will benefit from expanded long-term career opportunities and enhanced job stability by being part of a larger, more diverse and financially stronger enterprise dedicated to technological innovation, fast product cycles and operational efficiency. The combined company will be headquartered at Orbital’s existing Dulles, Virginia campus, with major employee sites in Utah, Missouri, Virginia, Arizona, Maryland, West Virginia, California and Minnesota.

Based on 2013 financial results, the new company would have combined annual revenues of about $4.5 billion, EBITDA over $575 million and total contract backlog more than $11 billion. Net debt of Orbital ATK at closing is expected to be about $1.4 billion, after taking into account combined cash balances of approximately $300 million. Annual revenue and cost synergies of $220-300 million are expected by 2016, consisting of $150-200 million of incremental annual revenue and $70-100 million of annual cost reductions.

In the merger, ATK shareholders will own approximately 53.8% of the equity of the combined company and Orbital shareholders will own approximately 46.2%. The combination, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of both companies, is to be effected in a tax-free “Morris Trust” transaction structure, with a spin-off of ATK’s Sporting Group to its shareholders immediately prior to the merger. The merger is conditioned on approval by the shareholders of both companies, the receipt of regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2014.

Citigroup acted as financial advisor to Orbital while Hogan Lovells US LLP acted as Orbital’s legal advisor.

Investor and Analyst Conference Call Details

Orbital and ATK executives will conduct a conference call with financial analysts and investors this morning, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (EDT). The companies welcome members of the investment community to listen to the call live. A copy of management’s presentation will be available in the investor relations section of

The call will be hosted by Mr. David Thompson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orbital and Mr. Mark DeYoung, President and Chief Executive Officer of ATK. They will be joined by Mr. Garrett Pierce, Orbital Chief Financial Officer and Mr. Neal Cohen, ATK Chief Financial Officer.

The call is being webcast and can be accessed via the investor relations page at For those who cannot participate in the live webcast, a telephone recording of the conference call will be available. The telephone number is 719-457-0820 and the confirmation code is 7630707. The recording will be available for one month after the call. Institutional investors can access the call via the password-protected event management site StreetEvents (

About ATK

ATK is an aerospace, defense and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, as well as in Puerto Rico and overseas. ATK’s Aerospace Group is a market leader in solid rocket propulsion systems for space and strategic launch vehicles, satellite structures and power systems, and aerospace composite structures. The company’s Defense Systems Group is a market leader in precision weapons, tactical missiles and related propulsion systems, and armament systems and ammunition products. News and information can be found on the Internet at, on Facebook at or on [email protected]

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at Follow the company on Twitter @OrbitalSciences and on Facebook at

« Last Edit: 04/30/2014 03:11 am by Chris Bergin »

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3863
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2571
  • Likes Given: 3318
It doesn't seem like a very good cultural fit to me.  I guess we'll see in a few years how it turns out.

Online Chris Bergin

> ATK will spin off its Sporting Group, which focuses on commercial sporting equipment, to its shareholders. <

Didn't know they had a "sporting group"! Shirt sponsors for Liverpool next year? ;D

Rest of it.....written in shareholder language, gave me a headache.

Anyone want to listen and note key points of the webcasted conference call? I'm busy with day job stuff :(

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8657
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1125
  • Likes Given: 245
Looks like a good fit to me. ATK is a major Orbital vendor, and Orbital's products really complement ATK's portfolio.
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline clongton

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10716
  • Connecticut
    • Direct Launcher
  • Liked: 2926
  • Likes Given: 1188
Will this be the company that supplies the SRB's for the SLS?
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline MP99


Anyone wanna bet Orbital's solution to the Ukraine crisis as it affects Antares is somewhere between Stratolaunch (already has ATK stages) and Athena III (replace those AJ-26s & Ukrainian tanks with a solid)? Edit, per Chuck's comment: a solid based on SLS Value Stream Mapping, and maybe Black Knight advanced booster with composite casing.

But, as much as my first thought was "holy moly", I will note that Orbital haven't been shy about using solids in their launchers up to now, eg Pegasus, Taurus, Minotaur, and of course Antares upper stage & Stratolaunch.

Does this also explain why Orbital dropped their lawsuit re access to the RD-180 once supplies of AJ-26 dry up?

cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 11:57 am by MP99 »

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8948
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 6160
  • Likes Given: 2085
Will this be the company that supplies the SRB's for the SLS?
I think we all know the answer to that question.

The aerospace and defense department of ATK is currently under contract to work on the SLS SRB's. Them merging with Orbital is not gonna change that.

On the merger: that's one way of getting the solar arrays for Cygnus "in-house", seeing as the improved Cygnus will sport ATK's Ultraflex arrays. And the Antares upper stage will now become an "in-house" product as well.

I'm glad the newcompany will go by the nomer Oribital ATK and not the other way around. I can only hope that ATK's company culture will not poison that of Orbital with overly patriotic nonsense such as playing the USA national anthem just prior to launching an Antares/Cygnus towards the ISS.  ::)
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 12:03 pm by woods170 »

Offline MP99

Anyone wanna bet Orbital's solution to the Ukraine crisis as it affects Antares is somewhere between Stratolaunch (already has ATK stages) and Athena III (replace those AJ-26s & Ukrainian tanks with a solid)?

Follow-on question. Could a solid first stage launch from Wallops pad 0A?

cheers, Martin


  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4569
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 1311
  • Likes Given: 2541
Will Antares get a new, all composite solid first stage? Hhmmm...
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Online Silmfeanor

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1196
  • Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Liked: 260
  • Likes Given: 538
Wow, huge news.

So, the upper stage of Antares is going in-house. ATK's composites are quite widespread throughout the industry.
big, big merger. I wonder how it will look in a few years; I hope orbitals steady pace will continue to exist.

The players in the US launch market are continuing to change and merge.

Also, finally the end for liberty?

I can see Orbital ATK bidding on almost everything in aerospace where there is something to bid. CRS, satellites, launchers, perhaps even crew...

Offline MP99

Will Antares get a new, all composite solid first stage? Hhmmm...

You know, that might put Dark Knights in the previously-unlikely position of having commonality with another operational launcher, IE sharing infrastructure (and maybe even development) costs.

Added together with the cost of re-tooling LC-39B for RP1, maybe that increases their chance in the SLS advanced booster competition.

And then you start to wonder about Antares II stacked in the VAB and launched from LC-39B.

Edit: are there any MLPs free if they wanted to do that?

cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 04/29/2014 12:15 pm by MP99 »

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7438
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 1459
  • Likes Given: 4521
I don't like it. Orbital was free in its decisions upto now. They were a great prime, with no vested interests. I don't think ATK culture is "use in-house only if it makes sense". This probably was driven by the defense line of business.

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2688
  • Canada
  • Liked: 454
  • Likes Given: 676
Will Antares get a new, all composite solid first stage? Hhmmm...
And then you start to wonder about Antares II stacked in the VAB and launched from LC-39B.

The Stick raises from the grave again.

Offline nlec

  • Member
  • Posts: 57
  • Liked: 12
  • Likes Given: 51
Will Antares get a new, all composite solid first stage? Hhmmm...

I was thinking the same thing back in June 2013 when first stage engine availability became a concern.  Merger definitely makes this more likely IMHO.

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7876
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1332
  • Likes Given: 8897
Orbital and ATK’s Aerospace and Defense Groups to Combine in $5 Billion Merger-of-Equals to Create “Orbital ATK”, a New Global Aerospace and Defense Systems Company
What the.... ???

I did not see that one coming.

Did anyone else?
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structure booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Online Chris Bergin

Let's keep the silly posts to a minimum/zero.


Online Chris Bergin

Freed some time, so will cover the webcast with key notes. Clearly big news. Chris G will write the article for it tonight.

Webcast link:

Asks you to register, but as soon as I did it went through, so you don't need to wait for an e-mail back.

Online Chris Bergin

Still waiting. ATK logo on the Orbital webcast page.

Online Chris Bergin

Expecting this to shoot up, right? Keep saying per each yearly review that I wish I had money to buy stock in these guys.

Online Chris Bergin

Off we go....

ATK board of directors approve the spin off. Covering the presentation.....

They need approvals, but expect to be ATK Orbital Inc by the end of the year, HQ in Dulles.