Ball Aerospace-built Weather System Follow-on-Microwave (WSF-M) satellite for the US Space Force.

Ball Corporation

Ball Corp. The companies announced Thursday that they have agreed to sell their aerospace division to UK defense contractor BAE Systems for $5.6 billion in cash.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year, subject to regulatory approval.

Colorado-based Ball’s Aerospace division, widely known for its beverage and household packaging products, is engaged in the manufacture of spacecraft and specialized avionics systems. It counts NOAA, the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies as some of its major clients.

BAE notes that more than 60% of Ball’s 5,200 or so aerospace employees have US security clearances.

“The proposed acquisition of Ball Aerospace is a unique opportunity to add a high-quality, fast-growing technology-focused business with significant capabilities to our core business that is strong and poised for continued growth,” BAE Systems CEO Charles Woodburne said in a statement. Is in good condition.” ,

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Ball starts shopping around its aerospace division Earlier this year, it was looking for a deal that would help it reduce its debt of about $10 billion. Ball said the transaction is expected to generate approximately $4.5 billion in after-tax proceeds.

Shares of Ball were up nearly 3% in midday trading on Thursday.

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