The Four Amigos and The Future of Competition in Space Commerce

Aerojet makes $2 billion offer for Lockheed-Boeing joint venture: sources, Reuters

"Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc has submitted a $2 billion offer to buy United Launch Alliance (ULA), a spacecraft launch services provider that is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, according to sources familiar with the matter. Aerojet Rocketdyne board member Warren Lichtenstein, the chairman and chief executive of Steel Partners LLC, approached ULA President Tory Bruno and senior Lockheed and Boeing executives about the bid in early August, the sources said. Aerojet Rocketdyne spokesman Glenn Mahone said the company would not comment on any negotiations that it was involved in with any company. Lockheed declined comment. No immediate comment was available from Boeing."

Keith's note: But Aerojet Rocketdyne will not own Boeing's or Lockheed Martin's rockets, will they? This is like buying a travel booking agency - not an airline - or a manufacturer. Can Aerojet Rocketdyne really expect to turn a multi-billion dollar profit selling someone else's rockets? And if they are getting Boeing and Lockheed Martin's rocket factories as part of the offer - is $2 billion even a real number? There seems to be a zero missing. Or are these companies really that uncertain of making a profit from commercial launch vehicles that they want to walk away from a half century of launching rockets for pennies on the dollar?

But wait: the same Aerojet Rocketdyne/Boeing/Lockheed Martin/Orbital ATK crowd (aka "The Four Amigos" in industry circles) is also building SLS - and ULA was always a sanctioned monopoly (until SpaceX showed up and spoiled that party). Everyone seems to be hedging their bets these days via acquisitions and consolidations - instead of trying to build newer and better rockets that actually do things more cheaply/efficiently - except SpaceX, I guess. Wait ... there's more: Blue Origin has an engine agreement deal with ULA. Jeff Bezos likes to buy things.

I smell an anti-trust lawsuit in the distance and/or a tech giant free for all. Or both. And if you thought that the previous congressional hearings on the whole ULA/SpaceX thing were fun ...

Stay tuned.

  • submit to reddit


Loading




Join our mailing list




Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on September 8, 2015 11:11 PM.

NASA Can't Decide What SLS Engines It Does/Does Not Need was the previous entry in this blog.

Space Advocates Think A Movie Will Send Humans to Mars. If Only. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.