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Serco to buy consulting firm WBB

UK-based government services provider Serco Group has agreed to purchase American consulting business Whitney, Bradley & Brown (WBB) for USD295 million to expand its presence in the large US defence market, Serco announced on 16 February.

WBB supports several US Air Force programmes, including the F-35, shown here. (Credit: US Air Force)

WBB supports several US Air Force programmes, including the F-35, shown here. (Credit: US Air Force)

The deal will boost Serco’s annual North American defence revenue by 20% to USD1.1 billion, diversify its customer base, and bolster its expertise in such high-demand technology areas as advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybersecurity, modelling, precision navigation and timing, and wargaming.

”The acquisition will increase the scale, breadth, and capability of Serco’s North American defence business, and will give Serco a strong platform from which to address all major segments of the US defence services market,” Serco said.

Serco, which enlarged its US Navy business by 70% when it bought Alion Science and Technology Corporation’s Naval Systems Business Unit (NSBU) in 2019, said the WBB deal will double its revenue from the US Army and US Air Force/Space Force to about USD100 million each.

Acquiring WBB will also give Serco access to new customers, including the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the US Office of the Secretary of Defense. WBB is responsible for cybersecurity risk assessments for all MDA systems, sites, and programmes, which is “quite a hefty responsibility”, Serco CEO Rupert Soames said.

“It is not often that I use the word ‘excited’, but genuinely we are excited about this acquisition because it is a vital piece of the jigsaw that we are creating around our presence in the largest defence market in the world,” Soames said.

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