Defence group Qinetiq (GB:QQ) – the inspiration for ‘Q’ in James Bond – has bought U.S. cyber security group Avantus for £483 million.
The buyout, by Qinetiq’s wholly-owned U.S. arm, reverses a recent trend of British defence firms such as the FTSE-250-listed Ultra being acquired by American buyers.
Steve Wadey, Group Chief Executive Officer for QinetiQ Group plc said, “We have been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the Avantus employee base, leadership team, customer impact, and the sustained organic growth. We see great alignment in our culture and strategy.
“Avantus’ highly integrated business, core capabilities, and customer relationships complement QinetiQ’s distinctive offerings, allowing us to grow the services and solutions that benefit our combined global customers as their needs evolve at an accelerating pace.”
Qinetiq expands in the U.S.
In May, Qinetiq U.S. announced a goal to hit $600 million in revenue by the 2026 fiscal year, by both organic and acquisitive growth.
Two years ago, Qinetiq U.S. acquired sensor technologic maker MTEQ.
Shawn N. Purvis, President and Chief Executive Officer of QinetiQ US said of the Avantus acquisition, “This acquisition is a transformational platform that delivers on our growth strategy of building a disruptive mid-tier defense and intelligence company.
”We believe that the combination of QinetiQ US and Avantus will create a unique business in the US and globally with a powerful performance culture and scaled technical differentiation.”
View from the City
According to TipRanks’ analyst rating consensus, Qinetiq stock has a Moderate Buy rating, based on two Buy and three Hold ratings.
The average price target is 103.69p, which is 5.23% higher than the current price level. The stock has a high forecast of 445p and a low forecast of 355p.
Qinetiq’s track record is solid, and its ambitious plans for U.S. expansion mean this could be one to watch long-term.