Editor's Notebook | Top 100: A matter of timing

Deloitte’s acquisition of BearingPoint creates a top 20 contender in the government market.

We had just sent the Top 100 to the printer when I was contacted by a BearingPoint employee asking about their ranking. Of course, at that point I couldn’t tell him that they were No.33.

But then he told me, well, the Deloitte deal will close Friday (May 8) so we were wondering if that would raise our ranking.

My heart sank a little bit. If they had closed a week earlier, it wouldn’t have been a problem to combine Deloitte & Touche LLP, No. 51, with BearingPoint Inc. The combination creates a company with $1.1 billion in prime contracting revenue, according to our Top 100 list.

The number would have put them at No. 22.

But even though we knew the closing was imminent, combining their numbers before the deal closed was a risk we couldn’t take. I worked on the Top 100 when Lockheed Martin Corp., No. 1, and Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 3, were doing their merger dance. At the time, everyone thought that deal would close, until it didn’t.

The fact that the Deloitte-BearingPoint deal closed after the pages were on the presses made make any changes an impossibility.

But I don’t feel bad for either Deloitte or BearingPoint. Despite the overall company’s problems, BearingPoint’s government business has been a star performer over the years. So having the BearingPoint name on the list one last time is a last hurrah in a way.

Deloitte has been making a serious play in the government-services market so we have not heard the last of them.

The company I feel bad for is Concurrent Technologies Corp. of Johnstown, Pa. Eagle Eye Publisher’s analysis pegged their 2008 prime contracting revenue at $146.8 million, which ranked them at No. 101. So, if the Deloitte-BearingPoint deal had closed earlier, their two spots would have been combined into one, and Concurrent would have made the Top 100 for the third year in a row.

Sometimes, timing is everything. But with the kind of work Concurrent is doing – high-end professional services such as command and control, readiness, and energy and environmental sustainment, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of it either.

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