KBR Boosts Diversification With Planned $570M Buy of Tech Firm
KBR Inc., Houston, on May 23 said it would acquire Wyle Inc., an El Segundo, Calif.-based provider of specialized engineering and professional services, mostly to the U.S. government. The purchase, valued at $570 million, builds on KBR’s two-year-old diversification strategy away from energy markets. Privately owned Wyle posted about $836 million in 2015 revenue, says Jamie Cook, lead construction-sector analyst for Credit Suisse. The addition of Wyle, in a deal set to close in the third quarter, would double KBR’s existing government-business revenue to 26% of the company total, “creating the equivalent of a global $2-billion government services organization,” says Stuart Bradie, who took over as KBR CEO in 2014. Wylie previously was owned by private-equity firm Court Square Capital Partners. “We see Wyle as a good, base-hit deal, creating a greater recurring [earnings] stream and diversifying KBR away from energy, which is likely challenged in the medium term,” says Cook.