British defense giant's purchase includes US entity

Babcock International will pay $2 billion for VT Group

U.K.-based defense contractor Babcock International Group plc will purchase VT Group plc and its U.S.-based VT Group for $2 billion.

When the acquisition is finalized in late July, VT Group will be rebranded as Babcock International, David Dacquino, VT Group’s chief executive officer told Washington Technology today.

“That’s always painful when you change your brand,” he said, “but fortunately from a U.S. perspective, that’s all that changes really, except for the additional capability that I will have.”

The company, based in Gaithersburg, Md., is a primary provider of submarine communications and shore-based command, control, communications, computing and information technology systems, and it is one of the largest Navy contractors.

London-based Babcock specializes in defense, including naval submarine services and engineering support.

Dacquino said Babcock also has a strong training capability that he wants to leverage in this country.

When the merger is completed, “we will be about 27,000 employees and about $4.5 billion [in revenues] internationally, including the U.S. ops,” he said.

Dacquino explained that VT Group works through a proxy board in the U.S. to which he reports. “That allows [us] to be a sole U.S.-capable company and bid on contracts, including classified contracts,” he said.

“So obviously [there will be] no difference in delivery, there’s no change to our customer-facing personnel that we have,” Dacquino said, and he added that the leadership team and the proxy board will remain in place.

VT Group will be the seventh acquisition for the British company in five years. “We basically double their size," he said. "This is a big one for them."

Last year, under Daquino’s direction, the company then known as VT Services combined its three U.S. operations under the name VT Group.

Since then, he has trimmed the leadership team to four executives, including two presidents to manage all the U.S. operations.

The U.S. company accounted for approximately $500 million in revenue in 2009, he said.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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