WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

Blog archive

M&A on my mind

I'm in the midst of completing a story on mergers and acquisitions among government contractors during 2006. It is our annual roundup. We'll list all the deals that closed last year and we've had a panel of M&A experts analyze the list and rank the Top 10.

Because the issue won't come out until Feb. 26, I won't reveal who the top deals are or how many deals were completed. I can tell you that there were not as many acquisitions last year as 2004 and 2005, which each saw over 100. But we're not missing it by much.

As with any reporting project, there is always more information than can possibly be put into one story, so I'm going to use my blog to talk about some of the things people have told me or that I've asked about that won't make it into my story.

Two people I interviewed ? Joseph Kampf, founder of Anteon and Jeanne O'Kelley, co-founder of Blueprint Technologies ? both made comments in passing that I keep replaying in my mind.

Kampf said that the sale of Anteon, though the right thing for the company, its shareholders and its employees, was still an emotional experience for him.

O'Kelley said that one piece of advice she'd give someone considering the sale of his or her company is to know yourself, know what you can do and what you can't do and what you can offer to the buyer.

I tie Kampf's and O'Kelley's comments together because to me they both speak of the personal nature of running and building a business. It's not just about the money, though money is without a doubt important; it's about believing in what you're doing and feeling some greater meaning in it. I think that applies whether you're running an IT business or editing a magazine.

But I don't think I can build an entire story around Kampf's and O'Kelley's comments. I'm sure it would end up reading like a string of platitudes and clichés. But still, I thought it was worth sharing.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Feb 15, 2007 at 9:54 AM

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