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Rocket and missile maker Orbital ATK sold for $7.8 billion

Staff Writer |
Northrop Grumman has confirmed a deal to buy missile and rocket maker Orbital ATK that is worth about $7.8 billion (£5.7 billion) in cash.

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Orbital has contracts worth billions of dollars with both the US Army and NASA.

The U.S. defence contractor's deal comes as the firing of missiles by North Korea in recent months has focused attention on missile defence systems.

Northrop's offer price of $134.50 a share represents a 22% premium on Orbital's closing price on Friday.

Shares in Orbital have risen by a quarter this year as investors eye an increase in US defence spending.

The takeover is Northrop's first big deal for several years and is a departure from its focus of returning profits to shareholders. Its motivation could reflect the Pentagon's efforts to rebuild missile defences.

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