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Adaptive Optics Associates Parent Company Acquired by Northrop Grumman

Columbia, Maryland – November 8, 2006:   Essex Corporation, which recently acquired Adaptive Optics Associates, Inc., has itself signed a definitive merger agreement with a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation under which Northrop Grumman will acquire Essex Corporation for $24 in cash per common share. The transaction is valued at approximately $580 million, which includes the assumption of Essex' debt. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007, subject to customary conditions including approval of Essex Corporation's shareholders and antitrust clearances.
  "Around this time in 2000, a little known company called Essex Corporation embarked on a strategy to increase the value it brought to its shareholders, customers, and employees," commented Leonard Moodispaw, CEO and President of Essex. "Since then we have grown from fewer than 50 people to nearly 1,000 employees, and increased revenue from a few million dollars per year to a currently forecasted 2007 revenue range of $330-350 million. We have completed 5 acquisitions, two follow-on primary public offerings, and grown to become an important supplier of services and solutions to the U.S. intelligence and defense community. For our shareholders, we have increased the enterprise value of the Company from less than $20 million in 2000 to approximately $580 million under the proposed acquisition. After careful deliberation, we on the Board of Directors believe it is time to declare victory and success for all, and at a price that represents an attractive valuation to our shareholders."

"The proposed acquisition offers new opportunities for Essex and its employees to continue and expand
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the range and depth of solutions we offer, and to accelerate the advancement of several of our key technologies. Northrop Grumman offers an exciting new platform from which Essex will continue to deliver innovative solutions to the intelligence technology market. Following the close of the transaction Essex will operate as a business unit within the Northrop Grumman Mission Systems sector. Rather than being an end, I believe this will be a new beginning, ripe with new opportunities."

The Essex Board of Directors approved the transaction unanimously. Shareholders of Essex holding shares representing approximately 11% of the shares outstanding have entered into agreements with Northrop Grumman under which they have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the proposed merger.

Adaptive Optics Associates issued the following statement on 27 Jan. 2007, announcing the completion of the acquisition:  

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  "On Jan. 24, 2007, Northrop Grumman completed its acquisition of Essex Corporation, a Columbia, Md.-based technology firm providing advanced optoelectronic imaging and signal processing services and products for U.S. government intelligence and defense customers and communications customers.  
AOA, formerly an Essex Corporation company, is now part of Northrop Grumman as a result of the acquisition.  
The company will be integrated into Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector headquartered in Reston, Va. Information about Northrop Grumman businesses can be accessed at www.northropgrumman.com. Investor information can be accessed on the same Web site."

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About Essex Corporation  
•   Essex Corporation provides advanced signal, image, information processing, information assurance and cyber-security solutions, primarily for U.S. Government intelligence and defense customers, as well as for commercial customers. Essex completed its acquisition of Adaptive Optics Associates, Inc. from Metrologic Instruments, Inc. on October 2, 2006.

Ownership of Adaptive Optics Associates Inc:  
•   1978:  AOA is founded. »history
•   1986: AOA is purchased by United Technologies Corp., and becomes part of its Optical Systems division, later to become part of its Hamilton Sundstrand division. 
•   January 2001:  Metrologic Instruments Inc. acquires AOA from United Technologies Corporation. »more
•   October 2006:  Essex Corporation acquires AOA from Metrologic Instruments Inc. »more
•   November 2006: Northrop Grumman Corporation acquires Essex Corporation.
Full Press Release

© 2006
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