No layoffs planned

So far, officials with the L3Harris facilities in Greenville and Rockwall do not anticipate any layoffs as a result of the merger between L3 Technologies and Florida-based Harris Corp. this past weekend.

So far, officials with the L3Harris facilities in Greenville and Rockwall do not anticipate any layoffs as a result of the merger between L3 Technologies and Florida-based Harris Corp. this past weekend.

According to a company spokesperson, the Greenville plant – which currently employs about 6,500 people – is expected to conitnue to grow despite the company as a whole minimally reducing it’s Texas workforce while the merger was being finalized.

“Four positions across multiple businesses were eliminated related to the merger integration from among our local Texas workforce of 8,400 full-time employees,” the spokesperson told the Herald-Banner. “This was a result of position redundancies.

“We continue to expect to expand our workforce within the greater Texas region through transfers and new hiring in other areas,” he added.

With L3Harris’ website still showing 154 available positions at the Greenville location and 23 at the one in Rockwall – most of the openings being for engineers – it appears as though neither facility plans on cutting staff in the near future.

As L3Harris, the company is organized into four different divisions, each specializing in types of defense technology: aviation systems, communication systems, space and airborne systems, and integrated mission systems. The Greenville facility is under the aviation systems division, which is headquartered in Arlington, according to the company website.

Of the high number of engineers needed by the company, Todd Gautier, the president of L3Harris’ aviation systems division told the Dallas Morning News Wednesday, “They’re not easy to find. Today, I’m still running at a deficit with more job openings than people to fill them. But, I’d rather be in North Texas; it’s a great place to find people.”

Initially announced in mid-October, the merger between L3 and Harris was approved by shareholders of both companies, by the U.S. Justice Department, and lastly, by the European Union, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. The EU’s approval on June 21 was the final hurdle required before L3 and Harris could join forces to become the sixth-largest maker of equipment and technology used by departments of defense all over the world.

Once approved, the joining of the two companies Saturday created the sixth-largest defense company in the U.S. and boasts about 50,000 employees in 130 countries. The new company, according to its website, currently projects making about $17 billion in annual revenue.

With the merger final, shareholders of the former Harris and L3 companies now own about 54 and 46 percent of the newly-combined $33.5 billion company, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

By combining with Harris Corp., a company known for aggressively competing for high-profile contracts in the space industry, the new incarnation hopes to bring to the table what both defense contractors do well.

“This merger has been referred to as a merger of equals for a reason,” the spokesperson for L3Harris in Greenville said. “Each former company has strong existing capabilities/resources.”

Even though the joining of the two companies had been planned for months before it was announced in October and finalized at the beginning of July, the two companies reportedly did not work jointly on any projects prior to the merger.

“We remained independent companies until the merger was completed on July 1,” the spokesperson said. “We look forward to going to market with the strength of one company going forward.”

Although expressed in somewhat less optimistic language, most defense industry analysts agree that the merger is significant in the defense industry.

“The combination heralds the arrival of yet another defense behemoth that will have more pricing power and market reach than either company did separately,” analyst Loren Thompson told the Dallas Morning News this week.

Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email THairgroveReporter@gmail.com.

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