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ATK, Orbital Delay Expected Merger Closure Date to February

rocket-launchATK (NYSE: ATK) and Orbital Sciences (NYSE: ORB) have delayed their expected closure date for the spinoff of ATK’s sporting group and the merger between Orbital and ATK’s aerospace and defense groups to February.

The companies said Monday they have also rescheduled their stockholder meetings to Jan. 27, 2015 from the previous announced date of Dec. 9, 2014 for ATK stockholders to decide on the issuance of shares to Orbital stockholders, who will hold a separate vote on the proposed merger.

Orbital CEO David Thompson said in an October earnings call that the firms expected to close the deal in January but both companies have now offered the new February date after a review of October’s Antares rocket launch explosion and Orbital’s long-term plans.

“During the course of the last two weeks, both companies have diligently evaluated and analyzed information relating to the Antares incident and Orbital’s go-forward plan, ” said Mark DeYoung, ATK president and CEO.

“We believe it was responsible and essential to conduct this special due diligence.”

“Orbital has implemented a comprehensive go-forward plan to fulfill the company’s commitment to the space agency’s commercial cargo program and to upgrade the propulsion system on the Antares rocket, ” Thompson said.

“Orbital does not believe this plan will cause material adverse financial changes in 2015 or future years.”

Both companies are still awaiting regulatory approvals.

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