Defence and security specialist QinetiQ - which has a major facility in Malvern - was back on the takeover trail yesterday after snapping up US firm Apogen Technologies.
Apogen is one of the United States' leading providers of information technology to the US federal government, competing in both the national security and federal technology sectors.
Its success was marked by its inclusion in the Department of Homeland Security's list of top ten contractors and ranks at number 48 on Washington Technology's list of top 100 federal contractors.
The £162.7 million acquisition, which is subject to US regulatory approval, follows QinetiQ's purchase of Foster-Miller and Westar Defence and Aerospace in November 2004.
QinetiQ has also signed a purchase agreement with technology development company Planning Systems this week for £23.7 million.
Sir John Chisholm, QinetiQ's chief executive, believes the United States is central to the company's overall growth strategy.
"Stronger access to the world's largest defence and security market provides us with a powerful pull-through for our UK-based business, allowing our capabilities to reach a bigger overall market," he said.
Apogen posted revenues of £115.9 million in 2004, an increase of 12 per cent on the previous year, driven primarily by growth in demand for its homeland security offerings.
Apogen has approximately 900 staff in offices across the US.
It will become a whollyowned subsidiary of QinetiQ North America and will remain autonomous, retaining its name, core management team, staff and facilities.