Boeing Co. announced yesterday that it will sell its information and technologies business, which employs about 1,200 workers in Northern Virginia, to Science Applications International Corp., ending a two-month search for a buyer.
SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned research and engineering company, will acquire Boeing Information Systems, a Vienna subsidiary of the Seattle-based aerospace giant that provides computer and communications support to government agencies. The purchase price and other financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. SAIC said it will acquire Boeing contracts, real estate and facilities.
Jane Van Ryan, a spokeswoman for SAIC at its McLean facilities, said the privately held company intends to keep all of Boeing Information Systems' employees.
"It's a perfect fit," she said. "It's really an acquisition of intellectual minds."
Boeing has been under pressure from Wall Street to close or sell its non-core businesses, as it refocuses on its main commercial aircraft unit in the wake of poor performance. Boeing said in April that it was putting up for sale its information and technologies business unit, which has annual sales of about $300 million.
Top management from both companies were unavailable for comment yesterday, as they spent the day meeting with Boeing Information Systems employees.
The sale to SAIC means that two companies with similar services will be able to merge their resources and customers, Van Ryan said. The combination also will increase SAIC's employee pool to more than 12,000 in the Washington area. The company is based in San Diego.
The Boeing unit's primary customers include the U.S. Army Reserve, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Marine Corps. SAIC serves both commercial and government entities.
Bob Dornan, a consultant with Federal Sources Inc., a McLean market research and consulting firm, said the purchase will be effective if SAIC can solve the problems plaguing the unit.
"Boeing's information technology companies have been steadily declining," Dornan said. "But SAIC has been doing well, and if anybody can do it, they can."
The acquisition is expected be completed next month, at which time the Boeing unit will become a sector of SAIC managed by William J. DeLany, the unit's current president.
From a fiscal standpoint, SAIC's purchase will substantially increase its revenue and could allow the company to become a leading information technology business, Dornan said.
"This purchase will certainly elevate the company to near the top of the information technology contract-vendor list," he said.
Boeing shares closed yesterday at $42.62 1/2 on the New York Stock Exchange, down 43 3/4 cents.