Lockheed slashes jobs ahead of Leidos merger

The company is planning on laying off hundreds of staff in its IT department in anticipation of the merger with Leidos.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has announced that it would dismiss as many as 200 staff in its IT department as the company prepares for its impending merger with Leidos. According to a report from the International Business Times, the dismissal comes after the company laid off 500 employees just six months ago.

The company, based in Bethesda, MD, will primarily be cleaning house in its Information Systems and Global Solutions (IS&GS) department. The company is entering a “restructurning” phase as it prepares to merge with Leidos, a Virginia-based defense company that offers services in engineering, systems integration, and other technical areas.

According to Lockheed’s communications director Dan Nelson, the job cuts were a necessary measure for the company to stay competitive. CEO Marillyn Hewson said, “This strategic transaction is an important milestone in the portfolio reshaping strategy we announced in July 2015 and allows us to focus on our core business in aerospace and defense.”

The merger is reportedly worth $5 billion, and will allow the company to shift its focus back to building the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, among other projects. According to Hewson, “The combination of our proven IT and technical services businesses with Leidos will create a new leader in the government IT sector with a diversified portfolio, greater scale and improved efficiency.”

The deal is structured as a Reverse Morris Trust, which absolves the company of a hefty tax bill. Lockheed will gain three seats on the board of the newly formed company, and shareholders will enjoy a 50.5 percent share in the new company. Leidos shareholders will own the rest of the company’s shares.

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