BAE Systems has announced it plans to acquire Ball Aerospace, a leading provider of mission critical space systems and defence technologies across air, land and sea, for $5.55bn.

Ball Aerospace offers spacecraft, mission payloads, optical systems, and antenna systems and has trusted customer relationships among the Intelligence Community, US Department of Defense, and civilian space agencies.

Ball Aerospace

The business is headquartered in Colorado, with more than 5,200 employees, of whom over 60% hold US security clearances.

Completion of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and conditions, with a targeted date in the first half of 2024.

Charles Woodburn, chief executive of BAE Systems, said: “The proposed acquisition of Ball Aerospace is a unique opportunity to add a high quality, fast growing technology focused business with significant capabilities to our core business that is performing strongly and well positioned for sustained growth. It’s rare that a business of this quality, scale and complementary capabilities, with strong growth prospects and a close fit to our strategy, becomes available.

“The strategic and financial rationale is compelling, as we continue to focus on areas of high priority defence and Intelligence spending, strengthening our world class multi-domain portfolio and enhancing our value compounding model of top line growth, margin expansion and high cash generation.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have reached this agreement and we look forward to welcoming the employees of Ball Aerospace to BAE Systems as we work together to support our customers and create value for shareholders.”

NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission

BAE Systems said the Ball Aerospace portfolio was “highly complementary and offers a number of adjacencies to our US-based business, with particular opportunities to advance a number of franchise positions across multiple Electronic Systems businesses”.

In 2019, Ball Aerospace has commissioned NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) and begun on-orbit testing of a non-toxic, high-performance propellant on board a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

The company designed and built the small satellite, which contained NASA’s first demonstration of the practical capabilities of a “green” propellant and propulsion system in orbit – an alternative to conventional chemical propulsion systems.
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