Sector Outperforms: Grant Thornton Lookback on Defense M&A 2009

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(click to view full) Guest Article by Ian Cookson If 2008 can be characterized as a year in which private equity buyers battled to acquire aircraft component manufacturers, then 2009 was a time of strategic acquirers fighting to secure defense technologies. 2009 was a relatively strong year for mergers and acquisitions. Defense technology saw a 6% increase in M&A activity in 2009 with a particularly strong second half of the year. This contrasts with M&A activity as a whole, which showed a 9% decline in the number of U.S. transactions across all sectors. M&A activity is likely to continue as the DoD, shaped by the 2010 QDR, shifts away from “big iron” and focuses on high-demand, low density assets such as unmanned aircraft, cyber security, and Command, Control, Communication, intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C3ISR) technology. Defense contractors and government IT providers, mirroring these shifts in spending priorities, are actively looking to acquisitions to enhance their capabilities. Earnings for our defense IT company index rose 8% (EBITDA) during the year, and defense electronics company earnings rose 5%… Prime defense and government IT contractors seek growth in defense technology Software M&As(click to view full) There has been continued competition among prime defense […]

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