Northampton’s L3KEO undergoes merger; officials say facility unaffected

  • The newly named L3Harris building at 50 Prince St. in Northampton  STAFF PHOTO/DAN CROWLEY

  • An L3Harris sign has replaced the L3 KEO sign at 50 Prince St. in Northampton after a business merger last month.  STAFF PHOTO/DAN CROWLEY

Staff Writer
Published: 7/17/2019 7:33:05 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Although a recent merger combined defense contractors L3 Technologies and Harris Corp. into L3Harris Technologies late last month, the company said its Northampton business’s estimated 300 employees will remain unaffected for now.

Mel French, vice president of business development and strategy at L3Harris, said in an email that the company was slated to take a “strategic look” at all lines of business, but that “no immediate changes are expected in Northampton.”

“We look forward to growing as we fill needs for engineers and operations associates,” French said of the Northampton facility.

L3Harris’ Northampton operation is at 50 Prince St. Periscopes and electric-optic sensor systems for the U.S. Navy’s submarines and surface ships are designed, built and supported there, French said.

He said any additional staff might come from other L3Harris locations, though most will likely come from outside of the company. He cited new job openings at the Northampton campus for engineering and finance positions.

French said the company was currently focused on integration between the two former businesses, noting that L3Harris would continue to evaluate its portfolio and structure “to ensure that we remain competitive and customer focused.”

“The combined local footprint allows employees to invest where they live and work through a strong corporate culture that values its people and those it works to serve in both the defense and commercial worlds,” French said.

In 2011, the former Kollmorgen Electro-Optical moved 340 employees to the new plant on Village Hill. Late that year, KEO was bought by L3 Communications for $210 million. The business it operated under the name L3 KEO until the recent merger.

In November 2013, L3 KEO laid off 19 salaried and hourly workers from its Northampton operation.

“L3 KEO was an important component of L3 Technologies’ maritime business and now, as part of L3Harris’ maritime business,” French said.

According to a statement from L3Harris, the merger between the two companies has created the sixth largest defense company in the country and a top 10 defense company worldwide, with around $17 billion in revenue and 50,000 employees worldwide.

L3 Harris Technologies is headquartered in Melbourne, Fla., which was the headquarters of Harris Corp. L3 Technologies had its headquarters in New York.

Jim Burke, a spokesman for L3Harris, said the combination of the two companies was a “merger of equals,” explaining that federal securities policy dictated that, since the merger was a stock-to-stock transition, one company’s stock structure had to continue to exist.

Shares of Harris’ stock were transitioned to a new ticker symbol, while L3’s previous stock ceased trading on the market and shares were converted into 1.3 Harris shares for each L3 share, the statement read.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com.


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