On the morning of May 29, 2015 the Harris Corporation completed its $4.75 billion acquisition of Exelis Inc. Bringing together two engineering-driven companies with combined pro forma revenue of $8 billion will create a force with significantly greater scale. Exelis Inc. is a Virginia-based manufacturer and industry leader in positioning and navigation control, sensors, air traffic management solutions, image processing and distribution, communications and information systems.
The portfolios of the two companies are more complementary than overlapping despite their similarities. Independent analysts have figured that the acquisition creates the nation’s 10th or 11th largest defense contractor.
The deal concluded weeks ahead of projections. One reason for the streamlined acquisition is the lack of any major anti-trust issues that could have given government regulators a reason to take a closer look at the deal. There were no conflicts of interest identified and there were not any mitigation plans that needed to be put into effect to satisfy regulators.
The new work force will be comprised of 9,000 high-tech engineers and scientists that specialize in communications and defense system. The total work force will be roughly 23,000 people. The next question being asked is where the new headquarters will be. The Harris Corporation is currently located in Melbourne, Australia, making it for the time being one of the nation’s only top-tier defense and government contracting companies headquartered out of the USA.
Currently, there is a huge push by Enterprise Florida board members to secure the Harris headquarters in Brevard, Florida. Virginia has also been fighting to secure the headquarters. Virginia has the advantage of a more flexible economic incentive program that is aimed at retaining corporate jobs. Harris expects to maintain a strong presence in Rochester. The merger is expected to increase the number of jobs in Rochester.
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