The merger between L3 Technologies and Florida-based Harris Corp. was finalized over the weekend with the newly named L3Harris Technologies debuting Monday on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol LHX, according to a company press release.
The globe-sprawling aerospace and defense technology contractor is now the six-largest defense company in the country and employs about 50,000 people in 130 countries. L3Harris projects about $17 billion in annual revenue, according to the company’s website.
Though details were scarce about any potential impact at the Greenville and Rockwall facilities, which together employ more than 7,500, industry analysts have said numerous times since the merger was announced that overlap between the L3 and Harris organizations was minimal and no substantive layoffs were expected.
With the merger final, shareholders of the former Harris and L3 companies now own about 54 and 46 percent of the newly-combined $33.5 billion company, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In Florida, where the combined company’s 8,400 employees make it the largest aerospace firm in the state, news reports stated that L3Harris spokesman Jim Burke said some positions will be eliminated and some will be transferred from L3’s former headquarters in New York, which will be shuttered. Most of the positions impacted will be in senior management, he said.
In all, the number of positions will increase in Florida, where L3Harris will be headquartered, Burke told Florida Today. Messages seeking comment about any local impact for the Greenville and Rockwall facilities were not returned as of press time late Tuesday.
Initially announced in mid-October, the merger between L3 and Harris was approved by shareholders of both companies, by the U.S. Justice Department, and lastly, by the European Union, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. The EU’s approval on June 21 was the final hurdle required before L3 and Harris could join forces to become the sixth-largest maker of equipment and technology used by departments of defense all over the world.
As L3Harris, the company is organized into four different divisions, each specializing in types of defense technology: aviation systems, communication systems, space and airborne systems, and integrated mission systems. The Greenville facility is under the aviation systems division, which is headquartered in Arlington, according to the company website.
Since the merger was initially announced, the stock price for both Harris and L3 had surged more than 45% on the New York Stock Exchange. On Friday – the last day of trading for the two companies’ individual stocks – L3’s shares closed at $245.17, and Harris’ closed at $189.13.
The combined firm’s new stock opened Monday at 189.76 and lost about 5.81% of its value during the trading day, closing at 178.15.
In recent years, Harris has aggressively competed for high-profile contracts and space industry. Back in April, the company scored an $84 million deal from the Space Enterprise Consortium, according to the Orlando Sentinel, to build an experimental satellite to try out new position, navigation and timing technologies to boost the performance of GPS to allow better operation for the military in “contested environments.”
The merger has the “transformational potential” similar to that of Lockheed and Martin Marietta in the 1990s, analyst Carter Copeland wrote in a review that appeared in Bloomberg News back in October.
With a transaction value of more than $15 billion, the merger also eclipses the 1997 joining of Boeing Co. and McDonnell Douglas Corp., said the Wall Street Journal in October; the deal would join two of the industry’s biggest defense research and development companies.
L3 has been a major employer in Hunt County since 1951, when it had its beginnings as a location the TEMCO Aircraft Corp. In 1955, the Greenville TEMCO facility was chosen to upgrade Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers with new electronic systems, setting the plant on a path to a reputation as a systems integration leader. In 1972, the company was purchased by E-Systems, then it became part of Raytheon in 1995, and then L3 in 2002.