FTC makes second request on Lockheed's takeover of Aerojet

FILE PHOTO: A RAF Lockheed Martin F-35B fighter jet taxis along a runway after landing at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford, Britain July 8, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

(Reuters) - Rocket maker Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings said on Friday it had received a second request from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for a regulatory review of its proposed takeover by Lockheed Martin.

The FTC review is part of a process under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act to scrutinize potentially anti-competitive mergers.

A second request by the FTC could indicate heightened antitrust scrutiny, as the vast majority of deals reviewed by the government and the Department of Justice are allowed to proceed after the first preliminary review.

The $4.4 billion deal, announced late last year, has raised eyebrows because it would give Lockheed - the No. 1 defense contractor - the ownership of a vital piece of the U.S. missile industry.

Aerojet produces 70% of the solid fuel rocket motors and other propulsion products used in everything from antiballistic missiles to air-to-air missiles.

Lockheed Martin said on Friday it was cooperating with the FTC and reiterated it expects the deal to close in the second half of 2021.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni