Boeing agrees to acquire Argon ST

By Reuters
Posted June 30, 2010 at 8:02 a.m.

Boeing Co. said it agreed to acquire defense manufacturer Argon ST Inc. for about $775 million to expand its surveillance and intelligence offerings. The planemaker said it plans to fund the deal with existing cash and expects the acquisition to have an immaterial impact on its earnings.

Boeing’s offer of $34.50 a share represents a 41 percent premium to Argon ST’s Tuesday closing price of $24.43.

Argon ST develops sensors and networks mainly for security intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and combat purposes.

The company focuses on an area that is drawing interest from defense companies as the Obama administration is looking to spend more on research and development for unmanned war and less in other areas.

Argon ST will be a stand-alone unit of Boeing and a new division of Boeing Network & Space Systems, Boeing said, adding it expects to close the transaction by the end of 2010 third quarter.

Argon shares soared 40 percent in trading before the bell after closing at $24.43 Tuesday on Nasdaq. Boeing shares closed at $63.04 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.


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