Thirteen lawmakers have expressed their support for Lockheed Martin‘s (NYSE: LMT) proposed acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE: AJRD) in their joint letter to Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary at the Department of Defense, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Lockheed first announced its move to acquire the rocket propulsion maker for approximately $4.4 billion, or $56 per share, in December 2020 as part of a growth strategy across the hypersonics, space exploration and missile defense areas.
Shareholders in Aerojet Rocketdyne voted in March to approve the transaction, which is under review by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.
Lawmakers told Hicks the pending combination could increase competitive balance in the rocket engine market they believe was disrupted after Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) bought Orbital ATK in 2018.
“The only reasonable assurance we have that the American rocket propulsion manufacturing sector remains strong and has at least two well-resourced merchant suppliers for all defense and space propulsion products is to approve the merger with Lockheed,” says the bipartisan letter obtained by Reuters.
The Bethesda, Maryland-based defense and aerospace company aims to close the transaction in the second half of 2021.