August 15, 2022

QinetiQ in £483m deal for US cyber crime firm Avantus Federal

Defence giant QinetiQ swoops on US cyber security group Avantus Federal in £483m deal

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Defence giant QinetiQ has swooped on a US cyber security group in a £483m deal. 

The deal to buy Avantus Federal will double the size of the FTSE 250 company’s US business, which it has been keen to expand. 

QinetiQ boss Steve Wadey said in May that it planned a takeover spree of American and Australian firms to hit a target to grow the business by 75 per cent in five years.

Expansion: The deal to buy Avantus Federal will double the size of QinetiQ’s US business

The deal upends a pattern of US companies taking over successful British aerospace and defence firms. QinetiQ’s FTSE 250 peers Cobham and Ultra Electronics, as well as FTSE 100 group Meggitt, have fallen prey to US businesses. 

The takeovers prompted outrage from MPs and experts, though a change of law means that the Government now automatically screens investments in sensitive industries. 

Wadey has said the rampant expansion plans are not an attempt to fend off being taken over itself. QinetiQ specialises in high-tech equipment. It was spun out of the Ministry of Defence and is famously said to be the inspiration for Q in James Bond. 

Wadey last night said that QinetiQ had been ‘thoroughly impressed’ by Avantus. 

Avantus’s work includes providing cyber and data analytics service for the US departments of defence and homeland security. 

It has around 1,150 employees and was founded in 2016. 

Companies including QinetiQ have seen business boom since Russia invaded Ukraine, as countries increase defence spending. 

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