Lockheed makes $463M bid for Sytex Group

Lockheed Martin Corp. is planning to buy the Sytex Group Inc. for $462 million. Sytex offers IT solutions and technical support services to the Defense Department and other federal agencies.

Sytex of Doylestown, Pa., had about $425 million in 2004 revenue, nearly 50 percent above its 2003 results, according to Lockheed Martin. About 85 percent of Sytex's revenue comes from the Defense Department.

The acquisition of Sytex "is another step forward in value creation through our strategy of disciplined growth and strategic cash deployment," said Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin's president and chief executive officer.

The deal is the first large acquisition Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin has made since its $2.2 billion takeover of Titan Corp. of San Diego fell apart last year.

The sale also is a departure for Sytex, which had been growing steadily on its own since its founder Sydney Martin started the company on his dining room table in 1988.

Sytex was No. 39 on the Washington Technology Top 100 in 2004 and had steadily moved up the list since it debuted at the No. 94 spot in 2000.

In an interview with Washington Technology last year, Martin said that he fielded numerous offers, but declined them because he felt the financial returns were better staying independent.

With the proposed Lockheed Martin acquisition, Martin said in a statement that the offer was an opportunity for Sytex employees and customers.

"We are a great company with exceptional employees. [Sytex] will become an essential part of an expanded Lockheed Martin information technology services capability," he said. "Our clients will have access to dramatically expanded capabilities, while our employees will have greater professional opportunities."

The deal will close after regulatory review. The investment banking firm Jefferies Quarterdeck served as an adviser to Sytex.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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