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Chloe Shakesby

Serco agrees on $300m acquisition of US military services provider

A UK public services provider has announced that it has acquired a US defence services company in a deal worth nearly $300m.

Serco Group, which operates across five sectors, has agreed to acquire Whitney, Bradley & Brown (WBB) from an affiliate of H.I.G capital for $295m.

WBB provides advisory, engineering and technical services to the US military, and the acquisition will expand Serco’s North American defence business.

The deal is set to complete in the second quarter of this year, and will be funded through existing debt facilities.

Rupert Soames, chief executive of Serco Group, commented: “Growing the scale, reach and capability of Serco in the largest defence market in the world is one of our strategic objectives, and the acquisition of WBB significantly advances that strategy.

“Following the acquisition of the Naval Systems Business Unit of Alion in 2019, which increased the size of our US Navy business by 70 per cent, WBB takes our North American defence revenues to around $1.1bn and gives us credible positions in other parts of the market including Air Force, Space Force, Army, the Missile Defense Agency and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

“It creates a powerful platform for future growth and brings us impressive new capabilities in areas such as Advanced Data Analytics, AI & Machine Learning and Precision Navigation and Timing, along with a team of renowned Subject Matter Experts covering a wide range of disciplines that can be deployed across our business.

“I greatly look forward to welcoming the WBB management team led by their CEO Robert Olsen along with 1,000 skilled WBB people to Serco and working with them and other colleagues as we build a strong global defence business.

“The acquisition will be immediately accretive to our margins and to our earnings per share, and the recent strong cash performance allows us to execute this acquisition within our existing debt facilities whilst staying well within our target leverage ratio.”

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