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QinetiQ in £483m deal for US cyber crime firm Avantus Federal

Defense giant QinetiQ dives into US cybersecurity group Avantus Federal in £483m deal

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Defense giant QinetiQ has raided an American cybersecurity group in a £483 million deal.

The deal to buy Avantus Federal will double the size of the US operations of the FTSE 250 company, which it was eager to expand.

QinetiQ boss Steve Wadey said in May it was planning a wave of takeovers of US and Australian companies to meet a goal of growing the company by 75 percent in five years.

Expansion: Deal to Buy Avantus Federal Will Double the Size of QinetiQ's US Operations

Expansion: Deal to Buy Avantus Federal Will Double the Size of QinetiQ’s US Operations

The deal breaks a pattern of US companies acquiring successful British aerospace and defense companies. QinetiQ’s FTSE 250 colleagues Cobham and Ultra Electronics, as well as FTSE 100 group Meggitt, have fallen prey to US companies.

The takeovers sparked outrage from MPs and experts, although a change in law means the government will now automatically screen investments in sensitive industries.

Wadey has said the rampant expansion plans are not an attempt to prevent them from being taken over. QinetiQ is specialized in high-tech equipment. It originated from the Ministry of Defense and is said to have been the inspiration for Q in James Bond.

Wadey said last night that QinetiQ was “deeply impressed” with Avantus.

Avantus’ work includes providing cyber and data analytics services for the US Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

It has about 1,150 employees and was founded in 2016.

Companies, including QinetiQ, have seen growth since Russia invaded Ukraine as countries increase their defense spending.

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