The US aerospace & defence industry saw a rise of 37.5% in overall deal activity during Q4 2018, when compared with the last four-quarter average, according to GlobalData’s deals database.

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A total of 44 deals worth $22.85bn were announced in Q4 2018, compared to the last four-quarter average of 32 deals.

M&A was the leading category in the quarter with 20 deals which accounted for 45.5% of all deals.

In second place was venture financing with 17 deals, followed by private equity with seven transactions, respectively accounting for 38.6% and 15.9% of overall deal activity in the country’s aerospace & defence industry during the quarter.

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In terms of value of deals, M&A was the leading deal category in the US aerospace & defence industry with total deals worth $22.09bn, while private equity and venture financing deals totalled $500m and $264.24m, respectively.

US aerospace & defence industry deals in Q4 2018: Top deals

The top five aerospace & defence deals accounted for 99.2% of the overall value during Q4 2018.

The combined value of the top five aerospace & defence industry deals stood at $22.67bn, against the overall value of $22.85bn recorded for the quarter. The top announced US aerospace & defence industry deal tracked by GlobalData in Q4 2018 was $17.82bn merger of Harris and L3 Technologies.

In second place was the $4.14bn acquisition of Esterline Technologies by TransDigm Group and in third place was Baillie Gifford &’s $500m private equity deal with Space Exploration Technologies.

The $140m venture financing of Rocket Lab USA by Accident Compensation, Bessemer Venture Partners, DCVC Management Co, Future Fund, Greenspring Associates, K1W1, Khosla Ventures and Promus Ventures and Kodem Growth Partners, Lightspeed Management Company, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, Sequoia Capital Operations and Shasta Ventures Management’s venture financing of Vector Space Systems for $70m held fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

This analysis considers only announced and completed deals from the GlobalData financial deals database and excludes all terminated and rumoured deals. Country and industry are defined according to the headquarters and dominant industry of the target firm. The term ‘acquisition’ refers to both completed deals and those in the bidding stage.

Verdict makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of its deals information. If you spot a mistake, or would like to notify us of a deal which should be included in this analysis, please email us at

GlobalData tracks real-time data concerning all merger and acquisition, private equity/venture capital and asset transaction activity around the world from thousands of company websites and other reliable sources.

More in-depth reports and analysis on all reported deals are available for subscribers to GlobalData’s deals database.