Loudoun Businesses Were Regional Leaders in 2018 Acquisitions

Brian Tinsman
Digital Properties Manager

 

According to a new list from the Washington Business Journal, three Loudoun businesses were among the region’s top-12 most valuable acquisitions in 2018.

Acquisitions are one measure of success in the business world, as they indicate that either:

  1. The company getting acquired has valuable assets and a chance to grow with more resources;
  2. The company has the resources necessary to acquire another company.

Orbital ATK, an aerospace leader based out of Dulles, was acquired by Northrop Grumman in a deal announced in September 2017 and finalized in June 2018. The deal was for $9.2 billion, third on the Business Journal’s regional list, and Orbital ATK became Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, its fourth business sector.

The Orbital ATK headquarters was rebranded in Dulles, and continues to be mission control for Northrop Grumman’s rocket flights. Northrop Grumman is the fifth-largest private sector employer in Loudoun County.

K2M Inc., a global leader in spinal device manufacturing, was acquired by Stryker Corp. in a deal announced in August 2018 and finalized in November. The deal was for $1.4 billion, seventh on the regional list, as K2M Inc. was folded into Stryker’s Spine Division.

K2M Inc. was launched out of a Loudoun County garage in 2004 and became one of Loudoun’s biggest startup success stories. As part of the deal, founder Eric Major and his 300 Leesburg-based employees were retained as Stryker employees.

Cofense, a cybersecurity startup formerly known as PhishMe, was acquired by private equity consortium Pamplona Capital Management in a deal announced and finalized in February 2018. The deal was for $400 million, tied for 12th on the regional list, and was designed to fuel future growth.

Prior to the acquisition, Cofense had raised $60 million in outside funding. Landing a large exit was part of the founders’ plans all along, and provides them with the financing to expand cybersecurity services into new industries.

These are the mega-deals that we celebrated in 2018, but it’s far from a comprehensive list. Here are some smaller, Loudoun-based firms that also have more resources heading into 2019:

  • North Gate Vineyards acquired by Walsh Family Wine in April;
  • Wild Hare Cider acquired by Jim Madaj in April;
  • Loudoun Times-Mirror acquired by Ogden Newspapers in July;
  • Loudoun Anesthesia Associates acquired by MEDNAX Inc. in July;
  • Kestler Financial Group partially acquired by Ladenburg Thalmann in September;
  • Mesh Omnimedia acquired by W2 Communications in October;
  • Virtual Marketing LLC acquired by Sage Communications in November.

On the other side of the negotiating table, there are also Loudoun-based businesses that grew through acquisition in 2018.

Notably, information services giant Neustar, based in Sterling, acquired Portland, Oregon-based TrustID in November for an undisclosed amount. The goal of the acquisition was to provide enterprise services that will quickly and accurately identify a phone caller for the recipient.

In October, Neustar also purchased Reston, Virginia-based Verisign’s Security Services customer contracts in a $120 million deal. Neustar has used strategic acquisitions since its inception and expects to further add “the right tuck-in acquisitions” in the future.

Loudoun has an ideal balance of business friendliness and a top-notch quality of life. Even when Loudoun businesses are acquired, they typically remain in Loudoun, near their base of customers and workforce talent.

If you’re ready to learn more about the #LoudounPossible advantage, email Business Development Officer Rick Morris or call 1-800-LOUDOUN.

 

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