Insights into SAIC’s Acquisition of R.W. Beck for $155M—and Beck’s Strategy in Energy, Water

7/20/09Follow @gthuang

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resources by connecting with these guys. Their strategic plan is almost the same as ours. Their resource capability is much larger, which gives us the opportunity to pursue larger projects.” He didn’t give any specifics about these projects yet, but it seems like SAIC’s funding and reach will greatly increase the impact of R.W. Beck’s work, particularly in the areas of energy and water infrastructure. “We’re just completing a five-year strategic cycle,” Stepp says. “We had pretty big plans and some pretty big financing needs. We approached them for being a venture partner.” (And ended up being acquired.)

In turn, R.W. Beck’s expertise will help SAIC push into new markets—at least, that’s the plan. “SAIC, with some of their other projects, has developed interesting smart grid technologies, and really great modeling capabilities,” Stepp says. “It’s an opportunity for us to help them take those technologies into the utility market space.”

Apparently, the whole deal happened pretty quickly. Stepp says the genesis was when he met an SAIC employee at an awards ceremony some time ago. The two talked on and off about their various projects in the market, and began looking for opportunities to team up. Stepp says he discussed a possible deal with his board of directors early this year, and the board decided to pursue it around February or March.

Stepp couldn’t say much about future strategy, but he emphasized that his firm will have broader reach because of the deal. “It’s the right time and place,” he says. “There will be some opportunity. We’ll be looking at all fields. Our plan with SAIC is to build more capabilities jointly with them. Over the next six months, we’ll identify them and continue to expand.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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