Biggest Deals of 2018

The U.S. gross domestic product skyrocketed 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, the fastest rate of growth since 2014, as consumer spending accelerated and business owners reported renewed confidence nearly a year after the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act won passage in December 2017. Though no public record exists of every product sold annually in the United States, some of the biggest transactions — including major deals by Amazon Web Services, Saab and Boeing — simply can’t be ignored. Below is a random sampling of the largest sales of 2018.

Seller: Airbus
Buyer: Undisclosed
Deal: 80 A320neo narrow-body airplanes
Amount: $8.8 billion

In July, Airbus, the European aerospace corporation, sold 80 A320neo narrow-body airplanes to an undisclosed buyer in a deal valued at $8.8 billion. The transaction came on the heels of an Airbus announcement days earlier that it had reached commitments for as many as 200 of the single-aisle commercial airplanes with additional plans to increase output of that model by another 25 percent. The Toulouse, France–based company has been under pressure to boost production of commercial aircraft despite industry-wide struggles to meet the current demand.

Seller: Boeing
Buyer: Jet Airways India Ltd.
Deal: 75 737-Max 8 narrow-body airplanes
Amount: $8.8 billion

Boeing, the Seattle-based multinational, publicized in July that it had closed a deal for 75 737-Max 8 narrow-body commercial airplanes, to be produced for Jet Airways, the Indian international airline. The deal clocked in at $8.8 billion before standard discounts, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Seller: Boeing
Buyer: Bamboo Airways
Deal: 20 787-9 Dreamliners
Amount: $5.6 billion

Bamboo Airways, a Vietnamese start-up, signed a commitment for 20 of Boeing’s twin-aisle 787-9 Dreamliners, both companies shared in a statement in June. The deal, on which Bamboo delivered a down payment, is valued at $5.6 billion before customary discounts, according to Bloomberg.

Seller: General Electric
Buyer: Advent International
Deal: GE’s distributed power business unit
Amount: $3.25 billion

General Electric, the multinational conglomerate with interests in renewable energy, health care and aviation, among other segments, announced a deal in June to sell its distributed power business to the private equity firm Advent International. The deal, part of a strategy to reduce GE’s holdings and pay down debt, is valued at $3.25 billion. The business launched following the acquisitions of engine manufacturers Jenbacher and Waukesa in 2003 and 2011, respectively. Before the sale, the unit boasted 3,000 employees and earned $1.3 billion in sales in 2017, according to CNN.

Seller: Lockheed Martin
Buyer: U.S. Government for the Royal Bahraini Air Force
Deal: 16 F-16 Block 70 aircraft
Amount: $1.12 billion

Lockheed Martin, the Maryland-based global aerospace, defense, security and advanced-technologies company, publicized a deal in June to manufacture 16 new F-16 Block 70 aircraft for the Royal Bahraini Air Force. The jets, which will be the first F-16s to be produced at Lockheed Martin’s Greenville, South Carolina facility, is valued at $1.12 billion, according to a press release issued by the company. “This sale highlights the significant, growing demand we see for new production F-16s around the globe,” a Lockheed Martin spokesperson said following the transaction.

Seller: Lockheed Martin
Buyer: U.S. Air Force
Deal: Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon
Amount: $928 million

In June, Lockheed Martin won a contract potentially worth $928 million to develop new hypersonic missiles for the U.S. Air Force, according to the global aerospace, defense and security company. Under the contract, the company will develop the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon, a new air-launched weapon system. The team charged with building it will be primarily based in Huntsville, Alabama; Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; and Orlando, Florida.

Seller: Lockheed Martin
Buyer: U.S. Army
Deal: ATACMS missiles
Amount: $364 million

Also in June, the U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $364 million contract for the production of Army Tactical Missile System missiles, to be used by the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales customers. The program will allow the military to upgrade its existing Block 1 missiles with new technology and added range.

Seller: Amazon Web Services
Buyer: zulily
Deal: Vast majority of company’s cloud infrastructure
Amount: Undisclosed

AWS in June announced that zulily, the e-commerce retailer, had agreed to a deal to move the vast majority of its cloud infrastructure to the Amazon subsidiary’s on-demand cloud-computing platform. Zulily boasts more than 6 million active customers, and the deal is a continuation of earlier transactions made with Amazon, including one to move its business-critical workloads to AWS. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Seller: Amazon Web Services
Buyer: Verizon Communications
Deal: Vast majority of company’s cloud infrastructure
Amount: Undisclosed

In May, AWS announced that Verizon had chosen AWS as its preferred public cloud provider. Verizon is migrating more than 1,000 business-critical applications and database backend systems to AWS, several of which also include the migration of production databases to Amazon Aurora, the company’s relational database engine. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Seller: Saab
Buyer: U.S. Government
Deal: Carl-Gustaf man-portable weapon system
Amount: $16 million

In June, Saab, the Swedish aerospace and defense company, inked a deal with the U.S. Department of Defense for the Carl-Gustaf man-portable weapon system. Under the terms of the contract, valued at $16 million, the company will manufacture the 84mm recoilless rifle system, known in the U.S. as a Multi-role, Anti-armor/Anti-personnel Weapon System (MAAWS). Deliveries are expected to take place during 2019.

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