There seems to be no shortage of owners of small and mid-sized government technology contractors wanting to cash out their investment, and no shortage of investors willing to do it for them.

The latest is NCI Inc. The Reston technology contractor, more widely known by its trade name, NCI Information Systems Inc., has more than 1,400 employees doing defense and civilian work. NCI registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 29 to sell up to $75 million of stock in an initial public offering.

But NCI is a little different from most of the other mid-sized contractors that have gone public or sold to a larger company. NCI, according to its SEC filing, has no major private equity investors, such as venture capital or corporate buyout firms.

Acquisitions take cash, which is one reason entrepreneurs turn to private equity investors. But chief executive Charles K. Narang appears to have focused instead on growing internally. NCI is a $171 million company that earned at least $6 million a year for the past four years.

The company's spokesman did not return calls last week. But Narang, who founded NCI in 1989, apparently has been planning this IPO for some time. In October 2003, he brought in Michael W. Solley as his No. 2. Solley, 47, has been around contracting for 20 years, and the company boasted on its Web site soon after Solley was hired that he joined NCI "after successfully completing and integrating more than a dozen acquisitions and three public offerings in the federal defense market over the past 15 years." (Hint, hint: We're going public.)

-- Terence O'Hara