Lockheed Martin, the country’s biggest defense contractor, closed Friday on its purchase of Sikorsky, the storied helicopter manufacturer based in Stratford, Conn.
Lockheed Martin paid $9 billion to United Technologies Corp. for the Sikorsky division, which UTC shed because its profit margins and growth potential were not as high as some of the company’s other divisions.
The after-tax proceeds of the sale, announced July 20, will be used to buy back stock, boosting UTC’s earnings per share once there are fewer shares outstanding.
“With this sale, UTC moves forward with a more focused portfolio of aerospace and building systems businesses, operating at a global scale, that will continue to provide innovative products and services, and deliver improved performance for customers and long-term growth for shareholders,” said UTC President and CEO Gregory Hayes.
Sikorsky has about 15,000 employees around the world, and employs about 8,000 in Connecticut, with its headquarters and biggest factory in Stratford and satellite locations in Bridgeport, Trumbull and Shelton. The engineering office in Bridgeport is scheduled to close late next year, and its 450 workers will go to Stratford.
Analysts say they don’t expect any broad-based layoffs in Stratford or at any other Sikorsky location, as long as demand for helicopters remains relatively stable.