Cobham acquires Argotek for $36.25 million

Published 9 April 2009

U.K. global defense group Cobham, eager to exploit the growing business opportunities in IT security, acquires U.S. IT security specialist Argotek; acquisition requires approval by CFIUS

Where there is a security need, there is a business opportunity. Growing concerns about the vulnerability of government and private networks (see, for example, “Hackers of U.S. Electrical Grid Left Behind ‘Sleeper’ Software Programs” and “Fighting Cyber Attacks Costs Pentagon $100 Million” — both in 8 April 2009 HS Daily Wire) alert savvy companies to the business opportunities available in IT security. Wimborne, Dorset, U.K.-based global defense group, Cobham, has reached an agreement to acquire privately owned U.S. national security company, Argotek, for a total consideration of $36.25 million. The deal is expected to be complete in the first half of this year, subject to approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The payment process will involve $26.25 million payable in cash and a seller’s note of $10 million, which will be payable on the first, second and third anniversary of the deal’s completion.

Argotek currently has seventy employees who are involved in high-end information assurance services for the U.S. intelligence industry (the company offers a long list of areas in which it specializes: Information Assurance (IA) and Systems Security Engineering company specializing in Information Systems Security Engineering (ISSE), Information Assurance (IA) Enabling Technology & Standards, Communications Security (COMSEC), Certification and Accreditation (C&A), secure architecture development, key management applications and design, and cryptographic evaluation / certification). According to Cobham, the acquisition of Argotek will fit in well with the group’s existing National Security Systems sector (formerly SPARTA) by increasing technical expertise and expanding its customer base. Allan Cook, Cobham chief executive, said: “The acquisition of Argotek adds further depth to our information assurance capabilities and builds on the successful acquisition of SPARTA in 2008. ‘Argotek will strengthen our customer relationships in the growing US intelligence market, where cyber security is of critical national importance.”