Huntington Ingalls makes cyber deal to advance services strategy

Huntington Ingalls Industries adds a cyber company to move forward the shipbuilder's government services growth strategy.

Huntington Ingalls Industries said Monday it has acquired cybersecurity services company G2 Inc. in a new example of how strategic buyers undertake capability-focused deals to grow in high-end technology areas.

Annapolis Junction, Maryland-based G2 joins HII's technical solutions division, the government services segment officially launched almost two years to the date of this transaction’s announcement.

For the U.S.’ largest military shipbuilder, the addition of G2 and its 130 employees also brings more of a footprint in work on complex digital security problems amid budget growth in cyber and other IT modernization areas.

“Our motto is ‘Hard Stuff Done Right,’” HII’s technical solutions president Andy Green told me. “It’s areas like high-end cybersecurity for highly sophisticated customers where we think we can add the most value.”

Baird’s government services investment banking team led by Jean Stack and John Song advised G2 through the transaction with Newport News, Virginia-based HII.

G2 was founded in 1991 and focuses on programs related to national cyber defense, computer network exploitation, cyber analytics and distributed analytics platforms. Their customers are undisclosed, but Green told me a “vast majority” of G2’s employees have high-end security clearances and advanced education degrees.

“They’ve got a pretty significant amount of experience and a very well-developed reputation within the cyber community,” Green said. “We thought joining forces with a company that is at the forefront of this capability was the right thing to do.”

HII unveiled the standalone services segment two years ago after it closed the acquisition of Camber Corp., which was then integrated with six other services businesses previously distributed across HII’s two other segments focused on shipbuilding.

That year-long undertaking to bring together those seven units was significant as it involved everything from IT and other back-office systems to common business functions.

“We’ve got a lot of that behind us,” Green said. “We’re very well-positioned now to apply those lessons learned and take this platform that we’ve developed to bring in an acquisition like G2, and bring it in a very quick and seamless way.”

As opposed to the longer-cycled ship construction businesses, services brings a completely different contract and capital investment profile to the $7.4 billion-revenue HII. Technical Solutions posted $952 million in sales last year.

G2 becomes part of the technical solutions segment’s mission-driven innovative solutions group, one of four within HII TS. That group houses the majority of HII’s cyber-related and other IT services for federal agencies.

Technical Solutions employs close to 5,000 people across 35 U.S. states and in 11 countries.

Last month, the company promoted one of its vice presidents in Garry Schwartz to president of the group. Prior to that he led the group’s training, cyber and engineering business unit.

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