ATK to merge with Orbital Sciences Corp; spin-off sporting group

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Arlington-based Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) announced on Tuesday plans to merge its aerospace and defense (A&D) units with Dulles-based Orbital Sciences Corp. and spin-off its sporting group. Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers.

"The Board of Directors believes this plan provides a compelling opportunity for ATK to continue to deliver solid shareholder value and for both companies to excel in their respective businesses," Ronald R. Fogleman, chairman of ATK's board of directors said in a statement. "We believe both companies will be better able to support and respond to the needs of their markets and customers, creating a stronger player in the A&D industry, while unlocking the potential to grow the value of the ATK Sporting Group."

Once Orbital and ATK merge, the company will be known as Orbital ATK and be based in Dulles. The sporting company will be based in Utah and is expected to employ almost 5,800 workers in the U.S. and abroad. It will be led by Mark DeYoung, ATK’s president and CEO. Orbital’s CEO David Thompson will serve as president and CEO of Orbital ATK.

ATK shareholders will own approximately 53.8 percent of Orbital ATK on a fully diluted basis and current Orbital shareholders will own approximately 46.2 percent. Approximately $1.7 billion of existing ATK debt will remain at Orbital ATK.

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