Lockheed Martin to Buy Chester County Aircraft Maker

The $9 billion deal includes Sikorsky Aircraft, maker of the Marine One presidential helicopter.

Sikorsky's S-76 helicopter flies over the Statue of Liberty.

Sikorsky’s S-76 helicopter flies over the Statue of Liberty. (Photo courtesy of Sikorsky.)

Lockheed Martin has agreed to pay $9 billion to acquire Sikorsky Aircraft, which has about 1,060 full-time employees in Chester County.

Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. and has an expansive site in Coatesville, Pa. where it makes the Marine One presidential helicopter, S-92 and S-76D helicopters and other aircraft. It recently laid off about 720 employees in Coatesville after tumbling oil prices forced its customers — oil companies drilling offshore — to cut back on using Sikorsky’s helicopters to shuttle people to and from offshore rigs.

There is no word yet on how the Lockheed acquisition affects employees at the Coatesville plant.

The deal is expected to close in late fourth quarter of 2015 or early first quarter of 2016.

Lockheed said in a statement that the $9 billion purchase price “is effectively reduced to approximately $7.1 billion, after taking into account tax benefits resulting from the transaction.”

Lockheed also said that it will align Sikorsky under the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training business segment.

“Sikorsky is a natural fit for Lockheed Martin and complements our broad portfolio of world-class aerospace and defense products and technologies,” said Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin. “I’m confident this acquisition will help us extend our core business into the growing areas of helicopter production and sustainment.”