Raytheon Acquires Cyber Firm for $420M

Raytheon Co announced on Wednesday that it has acquired privately held Blackbird Technologies, which provides cybersecurity, surveillance and secure communications to spy agencies and special operations units, for $420 million.

Raytheon told investors two weeks ago that it planned an acquisition valued at around $400 million, but did not disclose the name of the company.

On Wednesday, Raytheon said the transaction would not materially impact its sales or earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2014.

It said the acquisition would make Raytheon one of the top providers to U.S. Special Operations Command, expanding its capabilities in tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, secure tactical communications and cybersecurity around the world.

"Blackbird Technologies is a strong fit for Raytheon and enhances the growth prospects of our business and the capabilities we can offer our customers," said Lynn Dugle, who heads Raytheon's intelligence information services division.

Defense analyst Loren Thompson said the deal was part of Raytheon's three-pronged strategy to counter weaker U.S. demand by increasing foreign sales, investing in organic capability and making selected acquisitions.

"The cyber business is heading for a shakeup, and Raytheon is determined to be one of the survivors that controls substantial market share," he said.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Matthew Lewis)