With IPO behind them, Parsons revs up acquisition engine again

Parsons Corp. makes their first acquisition since the company returned to the public markets and this deal puts them in the defense hardware space.

Two months into its second act on the public markets, Parsons Corp. has made its first acquisition since the company made that move to again become a publicly-traded company.

Parsons said Monday it has agreed to pay $215 million in cash to buy QRC, a maker of radio frequency and signals intelligence products. The deal represents Parsons’ third acquisition in 14 months following the deals for Polaris Alpha and OGSystems, as well as an expansion into the defense hardware market.

"Bringing QRC into the Parsons family complements our existing portfolio, increases our presence in the high-growth markets of spectrum awareness and surveillance, adds critical intellectual property that complements and expands our available capabilities for the special operations and intelligence communities," Parsons CEO Chuck Harrington said in a release.

For Parsons, the company plans to combine its artificial intelligence and data analytics services with QRC’s products in order to help customers apply actionable intelligence.

Centreville, Virginia-based Parsons closed its initial public offering in May, nearly 35 years after the company was acquired by its own staffers and transitioned to an employee stock ownership plan. Parsons was a public company between 1969 and 1984.

QRC is headquartered in Fredericksburg, Virginia and specializes in radio frequency spectrum survey, record and playback, signals intelligence and electronic warfare offerings. Those products are used by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, Special Operations Command, intelligence agencies and international customers.

According to Parsons, QRC expected to post about $56 million in sales and approximately $18 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization expenses before considering revenue or cost synergies.

The deal’s enterprise value is $185 million with the other $30 million portion representing a tax benefit.

Parsons was advised by Goldman Sachs & Co. Latham & Watkins LLP. QRC was advised by Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.