Hanover cyber-intelligence company soaking up techies with Top Secret security clearance

October 02, 2012|Gus G. Sentementes

KEYW Holding Corp. is making good on an ambitious plan to grow, organically and through acquisitions, into a company that can respond quickly to the needs of its federal defense clients.

The Hanover-based company said today it completed the acquisition of Poole & Associates Inc., of Annapolis Junction, for $126 million in cash and stock. The acquisition was announced Sept. 10. It has bought several companies since its founding in 2008, and going public in 2010.

The company also is returning to the public market to raise more capital. It intends to sell 7.4 million shares at a public offering of $11.75 per share in an effort to raise money to pay down debt and to fund its acquisition of Poole. KEYW has a credit facility with Bank of America on which it owes $52 million. The public offering is expected to close Friday.

It now has over 1,000 employees, with more than 800 who hold Top Secret security clearances, according to a news release the company issued today. Amassing that many employees with such high clearances isn't easy or cheap, but KEYW has done it in part through a strategy of acquiring smaller companies. And it still has a ton of job openings.

KEYW is a contractor or subcontractor for several federal agencies, including those with a focus on intelligence. It no longer lists its customers in public filings with the SEC. In the past, it listed the National Security Agency as a customer.

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