COMPANIES

Six deals in 30 months pushes PSS deeper into intell market

Earlier this month, Preferred Systems Solutions (PSS) closed on its sixth acquisition in the past 30 months.

The acquisition of Synaptic Solutions brought more technical and software engineering capabilities inside high-priority programs in the intelligence community. The deal is much like the other five acquisitions that PSS has closed since 2014.

Those acquisitions include Envision Technical Services, Global Services & Solutions and Government Contract Solutions in 2014, GSM Consulting in 2015 and Tetra Concepts and Synaptic Solutions earlier this year.

The acquisition spree, as PSS president and CEO Scott Goss called it, was born out of a strategy the company derived at the end of 2013. Goss contacted the company’s equity team at CM Equity to talk about where PSS sat in the market.

“Where we are now, we’re a classic IT company; we’re too big to be small, and too small to be big,” Goss told his equity team three years ago. At that point, PSS had some intelligence work that was doing well at a time where the rest of the company’s work was being hammered by sequestration and insourcing.

It was clear to Goss that PSS could either “die on the vine” and rely on subcontracting work or start making deals to increase its size.

“I said, look, the intelligence community is something that we are familiar with, and I think we should go and focus on that to grow this company,” Goss said.

He recognized that the company did not have to do $50 million or $100 million deals, which would have it competing with larger companies in the market; instead, he said, PSS could be more strategic.

“We want to grow inside the agencies, but also with the work we’re doing,” he said. The focus has been on high-performance computing, cloud computing, mobile application development, cybersecurity and data analytics.

Goss said that PSS is looking for the higher-end of the software chain.

Going forward, more acquisitions are not out of the question—so long as they are the right cultural fit and help expand the company’s presence both with an agency and with the kind of work PSS is doing with an agency.

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at mhoover@washingtontechnology.com, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

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