WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Top 100 | The Europeans are still coming

BAE Systems, No. 14; Serco Inc., No. 28; and QinetiQ, No. 34, are getting some more company as major players in the U.S. government market who have foreign parents. The three have been active acquirers, building their American presence through both blockbuster deals and niche acquisitions.

Their success — and the attractiveness of the U.S. market — has been noticed. The Top 100 has nine companies with foreign parents.

While British-based companies are the most active in this space, they are not alone. Finmeccanica, an Italian defense and technology company, acquired DRS Technologies, No. 23, to substantially increase its U.S. footprint. DRS had been an active acquirer on its own, so look for more deals from this company.

Another British company, Cobham plc, No. 95, makes its debut thanks to the acquisition in early 2008 of Sparta.

Next week the company is holding a media day where it will explain its strategy, so look for more information on that in this space next week.

A lot of the activity has been driven by defense spending, but the bottom line is that the U.S. market remains a good place to be. As priorities shift, these companies have the infrastructure in place to follow them.

I don’t expect the Brits or any other non-U.S. company to be leaving the market anytime soon.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on May 20, 2009 at 9:53 AM

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