Veridian to buy Signal for $227 million

Veridian Corp. announced Aug. 13 it has signed an agreement to acquire Signal Corp., a privately owned systems integrator based in Fairfax, Va., for $227 million in a combination of cash and notes.

The acquisition will allow Arlington, Va.-based Veridian, which is known for its work in defense and intelligence, to diversify its government customer base.

Signal expands the company's presence in the defense and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance community, and "gives Veridian access to new markets in key civilian agencies, which we believe will become increasingly important as homeland security unfolds," said David Langstaff, Veridian president and chief executive officer.

Rick Knop, managing partner of the Windsor Group, a Reston, Va. investment company, offered a similar assessment. "This is clearly a demarcation for them. It gets them into new civilian agencies, [it] bulks them up, gets them to a billion dollars in sales, it gets them into a whole new tier of players," he said.

Signal's annual sales last year reached $250 million, the Veridian announcement said. Signal officials estimated as recently as May that its fiscal 2002 revenue would break the $300 million mark.

Signal's acquisition was no surprise, said Jon Kutler, chairman and chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Quarterdeck Investment Partners LLC. "This is a company that's effectively been for sale for three years, off and on," Kutler said. "Post-Sept. 11, the company looks prettier to the outside world than it did."

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