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Ravell Call, Deseret News
ATK and NASA test the third five-segment solid rocket motor, known as Development Motor-3 at Promontory, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.
We are creating two strong, stand-alone companies committed to sustained leadership and success in their markets. —Mark DeYoung, ATK President and CEO

SALT LAKE CITY — Defense contractor Alliant Techsystems Inc. on Tuesday announced that its board of directors has unanimously approved a plan to create two independent, public companies in the outdoor sports and aerospace and defense industries.

The board approved a definitive agreement to provide for the tax-free spinoff of ATK’s sporting group to ATK shareholders. A tax-free, all-stock merger will immediately follow the spinoff between ATK’s aerospace and defense groups and Orbital Sciences Corp.

Upon completion of the transaction, ATK will change its name to Orbital ATK Inc. Current ATK shareholders will own about 53.8 percent of Orbital ATK, while existing Orbital shareholders will own approximately 46.2 percent of the new company.

ATK is the world's top producer of solid rocket propulsion systems and a supplier of military and commercial aircraft structures and satellite systems. The company is also an industry leader in ammunition, precision and strike weapons, defense electronics systems, missile warning solutions, and tactical rocket motors across air, sea and land-based systems.

“By building on complementary technologies products and know-how and highly compatible cultures, Orbital ATK will deliver even more affordable space, defense and aero-structures systems to our existing customers and be well positioned to expand into adjacent markets,” said David Thompson, Orbital’s chairman, president and CEO.

Thompson, a co-founder of Orbital, will serve as president and CEO of Orbital ATK upon completion of the transaction.

Orbital ATK will be headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, where Orbital is currently based, and is expected to have approximately 13,000 employees in 17 states.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the approval of each of ATK’s and Orbital’s shareholders. ATK and Orbital will continue to operate separately until the transaction is finalized.

Meanwhile, ATK said in a statement that the company believes separating its sporting group into a standalone entity will facilitate opportunities for further growth. The division has expanded distribution for some of the most widely known brands in the industry, including Alliant Powder, Bollé, BLACKHAWK!, Bushnell, CCI, Champion Targets, Gold Tip Arrows, Savage Arms, Serengeti and Weaver Optics.

The name of the new firm has yet to be determined, but it will be headquartered at a yet-to-be-determined Utah location.

“We are creating two strong, stand-alone companies committed to sustained leadership and success in their markets,” said ATK President and CEO Mark DeYoung.

Upon completion of the transaction, DeYoung will serve as chairman and CEO of sporting.

ATK operates more than 60 facilities in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally. In Utah, the company has facilities in Clearfield, Magna and Orem.

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