The Young and the Restless<@VM>Letters
The speed with which a host of small to medium-size players are snapping up niche companies and flexing their muscles in hot government information technology markets has not gone unnoticed by their larger, more established counterparts or the analysts that track the sector.
Take fast-growing Veridian Corp. of Alexandria, Va., which just announced it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Los Angeles-based Trident Data Systems, which primarily provides information protection capabilities to customers such as the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies.
The deal, expected to be wrapped up by the summer, would transform Veridian into a $400 million company with 3,900 employees, and positions the company to chase a wide array of information and infrastructure protection work at all levels of government.
Analysts like the young, strong and aggressive management teams fielded by up-and-coming companies like Veridian. These smaller, privately held companies are moving forward with great speed and are very ambitious.
Two years ago, who would have thought that today's federal landscape would be dotted with the likes of Anteon Corp., Averstar Corp., Federal Data Corp., SI International, Vista Information Systems Inc. and Veridian?
But these private companies, all of which are backed by equity groups or banking concerns, can move faster on acquisitions and probably pay more than public companies. Why? Because they don't have to ask the question: How will this look immediately to our shareholders?
As these nimble players continue to do their deals, some larger, old-line federal companies are making some daring moves of their own. With both Boeing and GTE's government information services units on the block, one or more big players are likely to get even bigger.
Employee-owned Science Applications International Corp., with a work force of 35,000 and 1998 revenue of $4.6 billion, is the odds-on favorite to snag the Boeing unit. The GTE unit is still up for grabs.
So start those office pools now; things should get really interesting soon. Practice What You Preach
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So you were not among the first to emerge from the dark ages. Do you plan to be among the last? It has to be only a matter of time.
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A colleague of mine at the Department of Health and Human Services told me about your article on cost-benefits analyses [Net Log: "New Cost-Benefit Analysis Guide Is Worth A Peek, Jan. 25], and showed a copy to my boss. It never hurts to have your boss see nice things about you in print.
Also, some people at the General Services Administration apparently liked the article and sent copies to distribution lists that included people all over the federal government. I have received some messages that indicated people in the private sector were also interested in the guide.
Thank you for the article.
National Institutes of Health