Report: Aerojet Rocketdyne Bids $2 Billion for ULA

Well here’s a surprising story from The Wall Street Journal:

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. has bid about $2 billion for United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. struggling to maintain its position as the premier supplier of rockets to the Pentagon, according to people familiar with the matter.

The two sides are in advanced talks about what one of these people described as an all-cash offer. A deal hasn’t been finalized, and could be derailed by last-minute hurdles. Any such deal would be subject to close analysis by Pentagon officials, the people said.

But, if everything falls into place, one of them said, an announcement could come as early as next week.

United Launch, a 50-50 joint venture, was formed about a decade ago in a controversial deal that merged management of the Pentagon’s two primary families of rockets and gave the new entity a virtual monopoly on launching big military and spy satellites into orbit. In exchange, the Pentagon sought assured access to space….

Industry officials said the potential deal now under discussion would be likely to invigorate United Launch by providing more unified leadership at the top, and perhaps a better way to fund the venture’s ambitious plans to develop, test and deploy a new fleet of all-domestic rockets.