Washington contractors wrapped up the year by entering new markets.
Two companies made acquisitions to branch outside of defense work — Reston’s NCI acquired professional services firm Computech for $56 million, while Alexandria’s VSE Corp. bought four units of Texas company Killick Aerospace for $184 million.
For IT company NCI, the move was about expanding into the federal civilian market and adding new technology to stand out in a competitive defense market, said Brian Clark, the company’s president. Computech brings a trademarked software framework and access to the Internal Revenue Service, a client that NCI has been interested in for some time, Clark said.
VSE’s foray into the commercial market is the company’s latest move in a long-term diversification strategy, according to Maurice Gauthier, the company’s chief executive.
VSE has traditionally performed supply-chain management and maintenance work for federal agencies including the military services, the Department of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration.
VSE’s acquisition of supply chain company Wheeler Bros. in 2011 paved the way for some commercial work, as Wheeler’s main client was the U .S. Postal Service.
VSE also consolidated its federal and international business units in the fall to form a single group managed by Gauthier, and cut costs by eliminating several executive positions, according to a company filing.
Those moves led up to the purchase of Killick’s aerospace units, which is the contractor’s first pure commercial play. The businesses will roll into a new aviation segment at VSE.
The acquisition “broadens and diversifies our client base while concurrently expanding our product and service offerings for existing clients,” Gauthier said in a statement.
More transitions were underway in the last week of the year.
Virginia-based technology company Decision Sciences International appointed two interim leaders to replace longtime chief executive Stanton Sloane, who left to lead Comtech, a New York-based telecommunications contractor.
Gene Ray, a former executive at Titan Corp. (now part of L-3 Communications) and Science Applications International Corp., was named interim chief executive. Jay Cohen, a retired Navy admiral and former undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security, was named interim chief operating officer. Both men serve on the company’s board of directors.
Sloane’s departure comes after more than a decade spent at Washington-area contractors. He led Fairfax-based SRA International during its sale to private equity firm Providence Equity Partners and prior to that, worked at Lockheed Martin’s Integrated Systems and Solutions division.
Decision Sciences is a Middleburg-based private company whose flagship product is a scanning system to identify nuclear and radiological threats, based on research conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The technology is used at ports around the country.
“I have enormous confidence in the future of [Decision Sciences] and the ability of its disruptive technology and products to make a material difference to global safety and security,” Sloane said in a statement.
Over at CACI International, Jerry Briggs has been appointed executive vice president of the company’s health-care, litigation and enterprise IT unit.
Briggs is a 30-year veteran of Accenture, where he was most recently chief operating officer of the consulting firm’s health and public service unit in North America.
In his new role, Briggs will manage CACI’s health-care business, a market that CACI chief executive Kenneth Asbury called a growth area for the IT contractor.
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