Parsons makes $350M deal to pull services unit out of Cobham

Parsons Corp., a West Coast provider of mission-critical technical services to the federal government, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Sparta Inc., also known as Cobham Analytic Solutions, and its subsidiaries from Cobham plc for $350 million.

Sparta provides advanced systems engineering, cybersecurity and mission support services primarily to the Defense and Homeland Security departments, and the intelligence community, according to the Oct. 19 Parsons announcement.

Parsons, of Pasadena, Calif., is an engineering, construction, technical and management services firm that had $2.7 billion in revenue in 2010. Its government business unit currently serves a broad range of national security customers with technical support, training and program management, the announcement said.

Sparta has two principal business units: The Defense Business Unit is instrumental in the design, development, testing, fielding, and sustainment of effective weapons systems focusing on missile defense, tactical systems, space systems, and network-centric systems.

The National Security Business Unit includes an experienced cadre of engineering and technical domain experts who provide the U.S. intelligence and homeland security communities with solutions for intelligence production, information assurance, and computer network operations.

In 2010, Sparta’s revenues were $322.7 million. Sparta has approximately 1,100 employees working in 15 primary offices across the U.S., with its largest facilities in Arlington, Va., and Huntsville, Ala.

“By combining Sparta’s highly skilled and innovative workforce with Parsons’, we are accelerating our strategy of broadening and deepening our services portfolio to our customers and strengthening cybersecurity offerings for potential new customers in key sectors such as critical infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare, and energy,” said Chuck Harrington, chairman and CEO of Parsons, in the announcement.

Lazard Ltd. served as exclusive financial adviser to Parsons on this transaction.