Veridian joins the IPO dance

David Langstaff, president and chief executive officer of Veridian, said the company will use money made on its IPO to pay down debt.

Veridian Corp., Arlington, Va., saw its shares rise more than 13 percent June 5, its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, closing at $18.15 a share. The company's initial public offering price was $16.

Veridian raised $216 million and offered 13.5 million shares, a million more than previously announced.

"We felt we had a very well-received offering and strong investor interest," said David Langstaff, president and chief executive officer, who rang the day's closing bell on the exchange. "The consensus was that we could offer a few more shares. It helps the company to have the additional capital."

The company will use the money to pay down debt, Langstaff said. Being public strengthens Veridian's ability to grow its business base, and the company plans to consider strategic acquisitions going forward, he said.

Veridian offers information technology systems, integrated solutions and services and specializes in mission-critical national security programs. Ninety-five percent of its business is with the federal government. Its primary customers are the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies.

Trading under the ticker symbol VNX, Veridian is the latest in a growing list of government-focused IT businesses to take the plunge of becoming a publicly traded company. SRA International Inc., ManTech International Inc. and Anteon Corp., all of Fairfax, Va., have gone public this year. Two more firms are planning IPOs: PwC Consulting, New York, and SI International Inc., McLean, Va.

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