United Kingdom-based BAE Systems recently said it has offered $1.1 billion in cash to acquire U.K.-based Detica Group, an information technology security company that opens a new domestic market for BAE and expands its security business in the United States.
Detica focuses on helping its clients collect, manage and exploit information to identify and counter threats to the public, state and commercial enterprises.
The proposed acquisition, which is expected to close later this year pending approvals from Detica’s shareholders and regulators, is in line with BAE’s stated goal earlier this year of establishing security businesses in its home markets, which consist of the U.K., U.S., Sweden, Australia, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. In the U.K. the homeland security market is referred to as the national security and resilience sector, which BAE said it has identified as “an evolving and growing sector benefiting from increasing priority government attention.”
BAE said it expects the addressable national security and resilience market in the U.K. to double to over $6 billion by 2011.
Detica has 1,500 employees and had $405.1 million in sales for its fiscal year that ended in March. About 80 percent, or $322 million, of Detica’s sales are within the U.K. The U.S. accounts for about 18 percent, or $74 million, of revenues, and the remainder of the business is in Europe. BAE’s North American-based division, BAE Systems, Inc., already has a variety of business in the U.S. homeland security market.
“This acquisition will combine Detica’s well established customer relationships and technical capabilities together with our system integration capabilities,” Ian King, chief operating officer for BAE’s U.K. and Rest of World division, said in a statement. He also said that Detica, combined with “our broad geographic footprint provides substantial opportunities to grow a national security and resilience business across our other home markets and our existing activities and structure will provide a platform for us to apply Detica’s capabilities in the U.S. homeland security market.”
Chris Conway, Detica’s chairman, said if the deal is approved, it will result in substantial investment by BAE in Detica. Detica’s revenues for fiscal year 2008 were up 30 percent from the prior year, with 8 percent of the growth organic. Tom Black, Detica’s CEO, will remain with the company.
Detica is on a Raytheon [RTN]-led team that is providing a border security system in the U.K. called e-Borders, which will allow British authorities to check the background of persons entering and exiting the country against various watch lists.
Earlier this year BAE, acquired the U.K. government and commercial software business of Petards Ltd., which gave BAE a small opening into the national security and resilience sector.
Ernst and Young is Detica’s financial adviser on the deal.