M&A SPECIAL REPORT

Trio of acquisitions makes Vistronix best dealmaker of the year

Some companies know exactly what they want to be. For Vistronix, it’s a company specializing in big data analytics, cyber operations and cloud computing, all of which the company added to itself over the past year through three strategic acquisitions.

But it wasn’t just the capabilities that Vistronix wanted; “We wanted to be able to put those offerings together and then get access to new customers, which is mainly the [intelligence community] and the DODISR community,” said John Hassoun, Vistronix corporate president.

The company made its first deal for Technology Associates in the last few days of 2012, which gave them access to the defense market, which the company until that point did not have a strong presence in, Hassoun said. “But it also gave us some expanded capability in geospatial application development, which is one of our core competencies,” he added.

Technology Associates provided IT tech support to the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, HHS, and the U.S. Strategic Command, specializing in geospatial and data visualization software applications and systems. The company added its 450 employees to Vistronix's ranks.

Vistronix followed that deal with the acquisitions of NetCentric Technology and Kimmich Software Systems Inc. The series of acquisitions led to Vistronix being picked as the best dealmaker of the year as part of Washington Technology’s annual M&A special report.

NetCentric Technology brought the company big data analytics, cybersecurity engineering and cloud computing architecture capabilities, and since it was focused on customers in the intelligence and C4ISR domains, the acquisition placed Vistronix at the forefront of cloud computing, big data and cyber operations to assist C4ISR and intelligence organizations, the company said in a release.

Similarly, Kimmich brought increased technology solutions to Vistronix, particularly in the intelligence arena. The company focused on cyber operations, signals processing, data analytics, software development and systems engineering,

After the first deal went down, Vistronix immediately began integrating Technology Associates into itself by cross selling capabilities to both its own customers and to its newly added defense customers, Hassoun said. Almost exactly one year later, the company closed two more acquisitions at the of 2013: NetCentric Technology and Kimmich Software Systems Inc., or KSSI, for short.

Our panel of experts felt the combination of deals elevated Vistronix in the marketplace and signals that a new player is taking the stage. It was also noteworthy because 2013 was a down year for acquisitions and the company was able to put together three deals in 12 months.

Much like the company’s acquisition of Technology Associates, NetCentric Technology and KSSI brought new customer relationships with them: with the big data analytics, cloud computing, cyber operations, edge computing, and SIGINT processing capabilities that they added to Vistronix, the company became a bigger player in both the defense C4ISR domain and the intelligence community.

Going forward, Hassoun sees the market picking up, and the company will continue to look around for future targets, he said. That said, private equity is something that’s on the company’s mind, but so is public equity, he added.

“We’re in the ‘build’ mode,” Hassoun said. “We don’t want to be in the ‘wait and see’ mode because we think this is an excellent time to build a big data and cyber operations company focused on this national security space, so we’re being very proactive and finding the right targets at the right sizes and trying convince them to join us.”

Going forward, Hassoun said that the company plans to look at targets that will deepen the company's capabilities in cyber operations, cloud computing, data analytics and digital signal processing.

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