Government Contracts? These 10 Advisory Firms Can HelpAuthor: iDeals
Merger and acquisition activity in the government contracting market has increased over the past few years. Companies look to strengthen their own positions and respond to market pressures by seeking to merge with or acquire businesses that offer the products, services, sales channels, customers or geographic reach they need.
As M&A activity has increased, so has the need for assistance from advisory firms with experience in the government sphere. When it comes to government contracts experience, 10 advisory firms stand out.
The end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 saw a record number of mergers and acquisitions in government contracting, says Kim Clark Pakstys, a member of BDO’s national government contracting team. It also saw a more diverse slate of companies engaging in M&A transactions.
Recognizing that each change in governance produces new opportunities and uncertainties for contractors, BDO relies on experience with more than 400 government contractor clients to provide advice, guidance and support. The organization even supports its own Center of Excellence for Government Contracting to provide information and education to clients throughout the US.
Cherry Bekaert LLP
Cherry Bekaert LLP advises companies in government contracting and government services. By doing so, the firm offers a perspective on government-related work that is both broad and deep, allowing it to provide effective advice when it comes to government contracts and M&A.
In November 2019, Cherry Bekaert LLP was named Valuation Firm of the Year at the 18th Annual M&A Advisor Awards. “Our valuation team is honored to receive such recognition, and it is a testament to our experienced professionals who are dedicated to assisting our clients with navigating the complexities within the current regulatory environment,” says Gustavo Perez, national leader of valuation services at Cherry Bekaert.
Dixon Hughes Goodman
Dixon Hughes Goodman takes a proactive approach to mergers and acquisitions. By stepping forward on behalf of clients, teams at DHG can better understand the issues involved in a business deal, predict potential conflicts, and work to avoid or mitigate them before a crisis point is reached.
DHG’s team members regularly participate in educational opportunities for businesses, as well. For instance, Steven Frank, a partner at DHG, recently participated in a webinar titled “A Critical Look at M&A’s in the GovCon Marketplace.”
Government contracts pose a number of regulatory complexities that other types of relationships do not. When companies consider mergers or acquisitions, the presence of active contracts can make the process even more complex. FTI Consulting aims to make these processes smoother by offering support throughout a company’s life cycle.
FTI Consulting expanded its offerings in government contracts by acquiring Rubino & McGeehin Consulting Group in 2008. At the time, both organizations said the relationship would improve FTI’s ability to provide comprehensive services for government contractors, says Pat McGeehin, who currently leads FTI Consulting’s construction solutions and government contracts practice. Twelve years later, it appears that sentiment has proven true.
Harris Williams focuses on providing middle-market M&A services in several sectors, including aerospace, defense and government services. The firm’s teams seek not only to understand individual transactions, but also maintain clarity on the broader trends driving the government services market as a whole and its individual segments.
Mergers and acquisitions have increased in recent years as companies seek to expand their own capabilities and protect themselves against market upheavals, says Joe Connor, managing director of the transportation and logistics group at Harris Williams. Companies that provide government services or that seek to merge with or acquire government-contracting companies can stabilize their own position when these decisions are made wisely.
With offices in the U.S. and the U.K., Hogan Lovells focuses its aerospace, defense and government services practice on international and global issues. In recent years, Hogan Lovells has represented a leading aerospace company in a $5 billion merger and advised other clients on plans to acquire government services providers.
The team at Hogan Lovells maintains its optimism in the face of quickly changing global economic concerns. “We’re particularly strong in our trade practice and our privacy and cybersecurity work, and we’ve also seen an uptick in our capital markets work,” says Eve Howard, managing partner of Howard Lovells’ DC office.
Holland & Knight LLP
Holland & Knight LLP works not only on M&A deals involving government contracts, but also with government entities themselves. These two practice areas combined under one roof give the firm a 360-degree perspective on government entities and agencies, as well as on the business specifics of mergers and acquisitions in this sector.
2018 saw an increase in non-traditional buyers in the government-related M&A field, say Holland & Knight partners David S. Black and Aaron Raddock. These changes, along with others, continue to increase the complexity of government-related M&A.
Pickwick Capital Partners and The SPECTRUM Group
Pickwick Capital Partners and The SPECTRUM Group both specialize in M&A, and both focus on providing advice to companies involved in government contracting. The two recently partnered to offer both middle-market companies and private equity firms the M&A expertise they need to make sound business decisions in the aerospace, defense and government contracting sectors.
By combining forces, the two companies offer their clients a wider range of services. “We already work intimately with clients during the M&A process, from providing programmatic due diligence, competitive intelligence and internal assessments, to growth strategies & business development,” says Maj. Gen. George Close, president of The SPECTRUM Group.
“It only makes sense, where appropriate, to refer the advisory services of an investment banking firm that shares our values and commitment to putting the client first.”
Rock Hall Partners
Rock Hall Partners is a boutique advisory firm with a laser focus on mergers and acquisitions in the government services market. The organization specializes in small transactions, including small company M&A and the buying and selling of contracts.
Because Rock Hall Partners focuses solely on smaller M&A transactions, the organization has developed a depth of experience in this area that many competitors cannot match.
SC&H Group provides not only M&A advisory services, but also tax, audit, capital and financial planning services to its clients. Headquartered in Baltimore, SC&H was named one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2018.
SC&H attributes its success to its strong focus on culture, which the organization has maintained since its founding in 1991. “It really evolves around communication,” says SC&H co-founder Ron Causey “… We have a firm meeting, we talk about who we are quarterly. We try to communicate in other ways.”
Extending this ethic of communication to both its own teams and its clients helps SC&H provide outstanding advice and support in government contracts and other aspects of its business, says Causey.
Although M&A in government contracts and services can be complex, it is also a promising field for business. Choosing the right advisory firm can help a company ensure it succeeds at buying, selling or merging with an organization that can help advance business.