Serco Completes SI International Deal

British conglomerate Serco Group, which operates everything from British prisons to schools, expands its moves into American government markets with a $524 million buy of SI International.

Serco Group, a British-based international service firm, has completed its $524 million purchase of SI International, a provider of information services, technology and network solutions to the U.S. government. Serco plans to combine SI International's operations with Serco's existing North American business.

SI International, based in Reston, Va., ranked 44th in a 2008 ranking of top federal prime contractors, with more than $414 million in contracts. Serco ranked 56th, with contracts worth $293 million. Combined, the two companies' contracts would rank in the top 30 of the $290 billion U.S. federal government services market.

Under the terms of the agreement, Serco paid $32 a share, valuing its fully diluted share capital at approximately $422 million. Including the assumption of SI International's net debt, the deal comes to $524 million.

Headquartered in Reston, Serco North America has approximately 11,500 employees and annual revenue of $1.3 billion. Overall, the Serco Group provides operational, management and consulting services in the aviation, defense, education, health, home affairs, local government, science, technology, transport and the commercial sectors.

Serco Group's far-flung operations include operating light railways in the U.K. and Australia, managing the U.K.'s National Physical Laboratory, providing air traffic control services at international airports in Dubai and Iraq, running four prisons in the U.K., and having contracts for the operation and maintenance of the U.K. Ballistic Missile Early Warning System.

"In the U.S., Serco is a leading supplier to the substantial U.S. federal services market," Serco Group CEO Christopher Hyman said in a statement. "We now have a stronger platform from which we will be able to offer our customers more integrated solutions and deliver robust growth for our shareholders."