M&A deals that say 'Wow!'

Steve LeSueur

"It's eat or be eaten," said Russell Wright, Dimensions International Inc.'s chief executive officer, regarding his June 2004 decision to acquire Sentel Corp. The move doubled the size of his company to about $100 million. "We decided we weren't ready to be bought," he said.

The acquisition is one of the top 10 transactions on Washington Technology's inaugural list of Big Impact deals. A panel of industry experts examined more than 100 mergers and acquisitions in the government IT services arena in 2004 before selecting the top 10.

The No. 1 deal was BAE Systems North America Inc.'s purchase of DigitalNet Holdings Inc. for $593 million. But our industry experts didn't pick deals based on size alone. They also looked for unusual transactions and market surprises. The No. 2 deal, for example, saw CGI Group Inc. and CACI International Inc. split the purchase of American Management Systems Inc. in a three-way transaction that demonstrated creativity, patience and skill.

"A menage a trois is as difficult to pull off in business as it is in private," Claude Séguin, the CGI Group's senior vice president of strategic investments, said of the complex acquisition.

In this issue you'll find our comprehensive coverage, including an exhaustive list of all 2004 mergers and acquisitions. More importantly, check out the top 10 Big Impact deals. Will your company be next on the list?

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