Parsons buys Polaris Alpha to scale up in space & cyber

Parsons Corp. said Monday it has acquired defense and intelligence community IT company Polaris Alpha to grow complex technology services in areas such as space and cybersecurity.

Terms of the transaction were undisclosed and the deal adds more than 1,300 employees to Parsons with 90 percent of them holding security clearances. Polaris Alpha will become a part of Parsons’ federal business unit led by Carey Smith after the deal closes.

In Polaris Alpha, Parsons is seeking to accelerate its push into areas of government IT involving space and national security. Parsons has made a series of acquisitions over this decade to add new cyber and intelligence community footprints, while its most recent deal for Williams Electric in October of last year centered around security services in operational technology that converges IT with physical infrastructure.

The deal for Polaris Alpha also stands to further bolster Parsons’ scale in the government services landscape. Upon its formation in 2016, Polaris Alpha pushed solidly into the middle tier at almost $260 million in revenue.

Both Parsons and Polaris Alpha support intelligence agencies; the Defense, Homeland Security and Justice Departments; and NASA.

Polaris Alpha specializes in electromagnetic warfare, signals intelligence, space situational awareness and multi-domain command and control technologies. Parsons also sought new machine learning, data, video, multi-source analytics and automated reasoning technologies in Polaris Alpha.

Investment bank Baird advised Parsons on the transaction.

The sale of Polaris Alpha represents an exit for Arlington Capital Partners, which created the contractor through a merger in 2016 of three other portfolio companies in EOIR Technologies, Intelligent Sofware Solutions and Proteus Technologies.

Polaris Alpha quickly became one of the most active acquirers in the market since its creation through two deals in 2017 for Intelesys and Solidyn Solutions to grow in cyber, electronic warfare and space. The latest acquisition in April of Fourth Dimension Engineering added a hardware services footprint also centered around cyber.

Polaris Alpha’s major office locations are in Colorado Springs; Columbia and Aberdeen, Maryland; and Fredericksburg, Virginia. The company had additional offices, research and development facilities, and onsite customer operations in several other states and the U.K.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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