Defence research firm QinetiQ has bought US top secret intelligence company Dominion Technology Resources for more than £50 million.
It was the latest move into US intelligence from QinetiQ, which has a major facility in Malvern.
Details of Dominion’s operations are shrouded in secrecy, but it provides technical and operational support to the US intelligence community.
The firm says it has “strong and long term relationships with important classified customers of the US Government”.
QinetiQ chief executive Graham Love said the deal was a “significant increase” for the firm’s presence in the lucrative US defence market.
He added: “Dominion operates in an important, fast-growing market which is typically difficult to enter.
“Dominion brings new customer relationships from within the US intelligence community and provides us with further growth opportunities within the broader North American market.”
Dominion, based in Virginia, was previously owned by its current management. Its founders will stay with the firm in an advisory role, QinetiQ said. Its 100-plus staff – all of whom have high-level security clearance in the US – will also be staying with the company.
Dominion ended last year with a pre-tax profit of £2.8 millon, on a turnover of £23.6 million. It also has contracts worth more than £200 million agreed with the US Government over the next decade. The deal with QinetiQ is now waiting for clearance in the US.
QinetiQ – the former Defence Evaluation and Research Agency – can trace its heritage from the birth of powered flight in the UK at Farnborough through the development of radar during the Second World War. The company employs more than 14,000 people. It has 39 sites in the UK, at locations including Salisbury, Portsmouth, Glasgow and Dorset, as well as the plant in Malvern, Worcestershire.
The Malvern plant employs more than 2,000 people, and grew out of an MoD facility researching aircraft and radar technology.
QinetiQ has been looking to move further into the massive American defence market in recent years. In May, the end of year results at
QinetiQ claimed that US sales had been the major force behind its profits, which were down 42 per cent overall to £51.4 million on revenues of £1.37 billion for the year ending March 31.
In February last year, the firm acquired ITS Corporation, a provider of IT services to the US government and its agencies. Later on that year, the group announced its US subsidiary Apogen Technologies had completed the acquisition of 3H Technology LLC, a specialist IT company with US government and commercial clients.
However, the firm has recently won a new UK contract to supply missiles to the Ministry of Defence along with a consortium of three other companies. The Government still owns a 19 per cent share in the British company, though it has signalled several times that it may sell some of its stake since flotation on the stock market in 2006.