Global government services provider PAE will be taken public once its acquisition by the investment bank The Gores Group is completed.
Gores is acquiring PAE from the investment firm Platinum Equity for $435 million in cash plus more than 27 million shares in Gores Holdings III [GRSH], which is part of The Gores Group. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
PAE, which provides services to the U.S. government, allied partners, and international organizations such as the United Nations, has $2.5 billion in annual sales, John Heller, the company’s CEO, said last Friday during a presentation of the pending deal. Heller, who became the company’s CEO in 2013, said PAE has been growing 15 percent annually since he took over.
PAE had $1.3 billion in sales in 2013 and its growth has been organic and through acquisitions.
The company’s outlook for sales this year is $2.7 billion, growing to $2.8 billion in 2020 and $2.9 billion in 2021.
PAE’s adjusted operating earnings in 2020 are estimated to be $174 million. The company’s backlog stands at $6.1 billion, $1.6 billion of which is funded, providing long-term revenue visibility, Heller and Gores’ officials said during the presentation.
PAE has strong free cash flow, which will be used to quickly pay down its debt and fund incremental, accretive mergers and acquisitions, Mark Stone, CEO of Gores Holdings III, said during the investor presentation.
Free cash flow this year is projected to be $161 million, growing to $174 million and $187 million over the next two years, respectively, according to the investor presentation.
“With this next chapter, we will have the clear ability to accelerate our strategic plan and invest in our continued growth,” Heller said in a statement. “This transaction will strengthen our capacity to deliver the most valuable, innovative services to our customers and expand into new national security markets.”
PAE’s customers include the Department of State, Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, the intelligence community and others. The Northern Virginia-based company operates in around 60 countries.
PAE provides logistics and humanitarian operations support, infrastructure management, counter-threat solutions and information optimization.
Gores Holdings III’s lead financial advisers on the deal are Deutsche Bank Securities and Evercore. Moelis & Company is also providing financial advice.
Once the deal is completed, Platinum Equity and other minority owners of PAE are expected to hold a 28 percent stake in the newly public company.