Private equity-led investor group buys LGS Innovations

January 5

Herndon-based LGS Innovations, the federal government-focused subsidiary of telecommunications business Alcatel-Lucent, is being purchased for $200 million by an investor group led by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners.

LGS was formed after Lucent — also the parent company of the storied Bell Laboratories — merged with Alcatel in 2006. LGS was established separately and brings together the federally focused portions of Lucent and Alcatel.

The company has about 700 employees and is led by Kevin L. Kelly, who took over the reins in 2012. LGS was “reaching some natural barriers ... as a foreign-owned company,” he said of the impetus to seek a buyer.

The group that intends to buy LGS includes McLean-based CoVant, an investor group run by Joseph M. Kampf, the former chief executive of Anteon. He said LGS has carved out a niche in areas less vulnerable to federal spending cuts.

“It comes with a warehouse full of intellectual property in the form of patents and software and other technology, it’s a great product house so it’s capable of designing and building great pieces of equipment,” he said.

Kampf said he and the other owners intend to retain Kelly and to seek acquisitions that will help expand LGS’s customers and work.

The deal is expected to close by the end of March.

Octo Consulting braces for early graduation

McLean-based Octo Consulting Group is getting ready to graduate early from the 8(a) small-business program, seeking to continue to grow even without the special status.

Mehul Sanghanistarted his career at some of the consulting giants, spending time at Booz Allen Hamilton and Gartner. But he was tired of working at large organizations that he felt stifled innovation. Sanghani, who had grown up helping his parents run a motel they owned in Blacksburg, Va., decided to start his own boutique IT management consulting firm, Octo Consulting, in 2006.

Now, the business has about 125 employees and is rapidly growing. The company’s work is split evenly among projects for the National Institutes of Health, intelligence agencies, the Army, national security work for agencies like the FBI and civilian work for the Census Bureau and Federal Communications Commission, among others.

Octo didn’t join the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program until the company was relatively far along; when it entered in 2011, Octo had $15 million in revenue. As a result, it will likely leave the program in 2015, sooner than the nine years most companies take.

This year, Sanghani said, Octo will be focused on putting in place the systems that will help it grow, even without small-business status. The contractor is establishing a sales organization and proposal-writing group.

The company has also created Octo Labs, a research and development arm. Though Sanghani said Octo created the unit in late 2012, the company didn’t put enough energy into it last year. This year, he said, Octo has “really set aside a good chunk of money” for research.

GAO rejects CACI protest

The Government Accountability Office has denied a protest filed by Chantilly-based CACI Technologies against a Defense Intelligence Agency order awarded to Columbus, Ohio-based Mission Essential Personnel for classification review and declassification support services.

CACI received a better technical evaluation, but also offered a higher price at $86.5 million, compared with MEP’s $79.1 million proposal. The contracting officer upgraded MEP’s technical evaluation score and decided that CACI’s proposal didn’t warrant paying an extra $7 million.

CACI argued that MEP misrepresented the key personnel that would work on the contract, but the GAO backed the agency.

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