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Nick Wakeman

9 questions and answers about the TASC deal

Northrop Grumman’s sale of TASC to General Atlantic and Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts has been the big news this week.

I recommend reading some of the comments the last post received. Some good food for thought there.

Below is a list of what we’ll call FAQs. As we discussed the story, we kept coming back to a couple themes: Who are these guys, meaning General Atlantic and Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts? And what’s ahead for TASC?

This list starts to get at those questions. Let us know about any new angles we need to explore. 

    1) Who runs General Atlantic?
Steven Denning is the chairman. He’s been with the firm since 1980 and served six years in the U.S. Navy. He’s quoted in the press release announcing the deal. 

    2) What do they invest in?
According to Denning, the TASC deal is in their sweet spot where “professional services, information technology and government” intersect. 

    3) How much do they invest?
They have $14 billion that they invest in eight to 12 companies a year, usually in increments of $50 million to $500 million. They’ll take minority or majority stakes.

Right now they list 42 companies, not counting TASC, in their portfolio. 

    4) Who runs KKR?
Two of the founding partners still operate the company -- Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts. Neither are quoted in the press release, but Adam H. Clammer, a “member of KKR” is. 

    5) What do they invest in?
Investments include pharmacueticals, technology, communications, entertainment and media. 

    6) How much do they invest?
Over the last 30 years, the firm has managed 14 private equity funds and invested nearly $60 billion. 

    7) Who will run TASC?
Wood Parker, current general manager of TASC for Northrop Grumman and described as “prospective president and CEO” of the independent TASC.
With Parker still at the top, the assumption would be much of his management team will remain in place.

They include: Pamela Drew, vice president, Enterprise Systems, Al Pisani, VP, Intelligence Operations , Patrick Talty, VP, Mission Engineering, Kerry Rines, VP, National Systems,  and Joe Dodd, VP, Business Development.

    8) Who might be on TASC’s board of directors?
General Atlantic and KKR said they consulted with a variety of advisors as the pursed TASC.

Among the advisors:

    *Donald Kerr, former head of the National Reconnaissance Office. The NRO is TASC’s largest customer. 
    *R. Evans Hineman, former president of TASC and a former executive vice president at ManTech International. 
    *James Frey, former president of TASC. 
    *David Langstaff, a special advisor to General Atlantic and former CEO of Veridian Corp. He currently serves on the board of SRA International. 

    9) Who will TASC compete with?

    *Alion Science and Technologies 
    *Booz Allen Hamilton 
    *Scitor Corp. 
    *Science Applications International Corp. 
    *The FFRDCs – federally funded research and development centers. 

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 10, 2009 at 7:23 PM


Reader Comments

Tue, Dec 8, 2009 JohnH Fairfax

As a former TASC employee I wish TASC well. It has always been an interesting company that held itself to a high performance standard. My question is on the boundaries of the OCI contracting world, and who are the competitors on that side of the market. What limits would this place on TASC that might not have existed in the past.

Mon, Dec 7, 2009 Rob T McLean

General Atlantic is a very patient investor that stays with their investment for years. They are the largest investor of IT services companies in the world. They have no need to "flip" TASC for a quick buck.

Thu, Nov 12, 2009

I hope that this will rekindle the TASC culture that I grew to know and love starting in the late '80s (TASC was then The Analytic Science Corporation). Performance was key and growth came through word-of-mouth about TASC's exceptional performance and carefully chosen staff. Markedly, TASC REALLY cared about its people, and the company had true brand name recognition. When I mentioned to members of other firms that I worked for TASC, the ensuing remarks reflected that they wished they worked for as good a company. But when TASC was sold, and became part of ever larger companies, culminating in being acquired by Northrop Grumman, the almost total emphasis was on growth. Key managers were, for the first time, chosen from outside the company and, slowly, TASC became a ghost of its former self - just another run of the mill DOD/IC contractor with only lip service paid to taking care of its staff. I hope the "new TASC" can regain some of the fire of old, clear out some of the highly overpaid deadwood, and puts performance and people at the forefront. It has a chance to regain its former "glory" - I hope Wood Parker and a new, invigorated management team seize that opportunity.

Tue, Nov 10, 2009

Looks like a team that can hit the ground running. They will probably go after a number of OCI conflicted contracts that Lockheed, GD, SAIC, and others will be forced to shed based on the restrictive OCI avoidance policies being implemented by contracting officers in response to Acquisition Reform Act. Althought this deal was rumored for a while, some were hoping it would be delayed so that TASC would not be able to bid on a number of upcoming competitions. That changes a lot of the competitive landscape with respect to teaming decisions and bid strategies.

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