Brits buy U.S. services firm

Another British defense company is expanding its U.S. presence. VT Group Plc of Southampton, England, plans to buy Advanced Engineering and Planning Corp. of Gaithersburg, Md.

After it clears regulatory hurdles, VT Group will pay $70 million for AEPCO with another $5 million due depending on future performance.

AEPCO is a military support specialist, which pulled in $65.9 million revenue in 2006 with a before-tax profit of $6 million, according to VT Group. AEPCO manages life cycle support programs for U.S. Army helicopters, such as the Apache, Blackhawk, Chinook, Warrior and Cobra. Most of the work is done at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. Its major customer is the Army Aviation and Missile Command.

The acquisition expands VT Group's U.S. presence and improves its margins, the company said. VT Group's existing U.S. work includes base operations and systems upgrades for naval vessels.

The acquisition is expected to close by January. Aronson Capital Partners was an adviser to AEPCO.

VT Group joins other British companies such as BAE Systems Plc, Serco Plc and QinetiQ Plc which have acquired U.S. defense and information technology companies in recent years.

About the Author

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

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