Amid federal shutdown, CACI spends $820m on defense consulting firm Six3

Contact: Scott Denne

The federal shutdown and looming debt-ceiling battle isn’t slowing down CACI International’s appetite for M&A. The government contractor and frequent acquirer is paying $820m, its largest purchase, for tech-enabled security and signal intelligence services vendor Six3 Systems.

A major selling point for Six3 was its expertise in cybersecurity, which currently accounts for about one-fifth of its $437m trailing sales. Its top-line growth certainly helped as well. The company, which was backed by private equity firm GTCR, experienced a 19% compound annual growth rate over the past five years.

The transaction brings CACI new technology capabilities that significantly expand its addressable market. That, and the fact that Six3 will tack on at least 5% to its earnings next year, made CACI willing to dig deep for this one. The deal value is almost twice the $415m that CACI paid for its second-largest acquisition, the purchase of American Management Systems’ defense group in 2004, and nearly 20x the size of its median acquisition price over the past decade-plus.

Further emphasizing Six3’s value, CACI is paying more than double the valuation that the typical IT services shop receives. The deal values Six3 at 1.9x trailing sales. CACI itself currently sports an enterprise valuation of just under half-times sales. Bank of America Merrill Lynch advised CACI, while Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Securities teamed up on the sell side.

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