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Acquisition of US defence engineering services specialist

Published: 24 Oct 2017

Serco Group plc ('Serco' or 'the Group'), the international service company, has reached agreement to acquire BTP Systems LLC (‘BTP’), a provider of satellite communication and radar engineering technical services to the US defence industry.  The business is to be acquired on a cash-free, debt-free basis for $20m, with the consideration to be satisfied using Serco’s existing debt facilities. The acquisition, subject to required approvals, is expected to complete around the end of the year.

BTP has deep capabilities within the satellite and radar industries, where it provides maintenance, repair and overhaul, testing facilities, and related systems and field engineering services.  These services complement Serco’s existing Ship & Shore Modernisation work and enhance our capability in ‘C5ISR’ (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance).  In particular, BTP’s in-service engineering and related capabilities, when combined with Serco’s existing installation services, will create a full end-to-end capability to sustain systems throughout their life cycle.  Major customers of BTP include the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (‘SPAWAR’), the Naval Supply Systems Command (‘NAVSUP’) and Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

BTP has grown strongly over the 14 years since it was founded.  Revenue for 2017 is expected to be approaching $20m and EBITDA approximately $3m.  There will be a limited amount of transaction and integration costs, after which the acquisition is still expected to be immediately accretive to earnings.  Serco guided to leverage for covenant purposes of between 1.4 and 1.8x EBITDA at the end of 2017; on an underlying pro forma basis this transaction would increase leverage by approximately 0.1x.  The value of BTP’s gross assets, excluding cash balances, is approximately $3m.

Commenting on the acquisition, Rupert Soames, Serco Group Chief Executive, said: “This acquisition adds deep expertise in satellite and radar engineering services, which complements Serco’s existing defence business particularly in relation to C5ISR work and our Ship & Shore Modernisation, radar and other base support services.  BTP operates in a growing segment of the market and through its combination with Serco we will be able to target additional revenue and cost synergies.  We welcome our new colleagues joining Serco and look forward to working together as we further develop our scope, scale and excellent reputation in the US defence sector.”

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