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Transforming Perspecta Into a $7.1B Company; The Journey of Mac Curtis

Perspecta, the Chantilly, Virginia-based government technology services contractor, announced in January that it will be acquired by Veritas Capital for $7.1 billion in cash, or $29.35 per share.

Veritas Capital, which holds approximately 14.5 percent of Perspecta’s outstanding shares, intends to combine Perspecta with Peraton, another government technology provider and a portfolio company.

One of the notable leaders behind the pending deal is Mac Curtis, a seven-time Wash100 Award recipient, who called the transaction a “culmination of a comprehensive review process.” The board of directors of Perspecta believes the deal to offer the most compelling value creation for shareholders.

“Together with Peraton and with the flexibility, Perspecta will be well positioned to build on our momentum and continue executing on customer commitments as Perspecta delivers cyber, digital-transformation and mission-focused solutions,” Curtis added.

Curtis became the president and CEO of Perspecta upon its creation as a result of the merger between Vencore, DXC Technology’s public sector business and KeyPoint Government Solutions. Both Vencore and KeyPoint were portfolio companies of Veritas Capital, while DXC was created in April 2017 as a publicly traded firm by the combination of Computer Sciences Corp. and the enterprise services segment of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Curtis, who previously served as president and CEO of Vencore, stated before this merger that Vencore’s applied research work would help differentiate Perspecta from other contractors in the government IT services market.

Curtis’ history with Vencore and its predecessor companies dates back to 2012 when he joined Veritas as a senior adviser to help the firm identify potential acquisition opportunities in the government market. During this move, Curtis was excited to “sit on the other side of the table” and bring additional value through his CEO experience ”to assist in identifying, acquiring and operating the business.”

Following his move to Veritas Capital, Curtis served on the boards of the private equity firm’s three portfolio companies, including The SI Organization. In May 2013, he succeeded Bill Graham as president and CEO of The SI Organization.

When he took the helm of The SI in 2013, Curtis was aware of the company’s challenges, since he’d been serving on its board for a year. Curtis helped the company navigate through these obstacles by spearheading a strong growth strategy and driving business development and innovation.

With Mac Curtis as chief executive, The SI completed its acquisition of QinetiQ North America’s services and solutions business almost a year later to expand its presence in adjacent markets, including defense, homeland security, aerospace and federal civilian. Curtis noted that the transaction was part of The SI’s goal to lead the “design, development, integration and operation of complex, mission-critical information systems across the government.”

Shortly after the acquisition, The SI rebranded itself as Vencore in 2014 to enact a renewed focus on engineering, data analytics, cybersecurity and a combination of diverse capabilities from previous acquisitions. That focus also provided the rebranded company with a total addressable market of about $110 billion annually.

Before his move to Veritas Capital, Curtis served as president and CEO of Vangent. Under his leadership, the company grew from a $70 million business unit into an information management and business process outsourcing company with over $760 million in revenue and more than 8,000 employees. He was also instrumental in Vangent’s strategic expansion into the health IT market and other growth areas.

Curtis played a crucial role in Vangent, as well as its predecessor companies. It started when he joined National Computer Systems (NCS) in 1999 as vice president and general manager of government services.

NCS was acquired by U.K.-based media company Pearson in 2000. In that year, Curtis was named president and CEO of Pearson’s government division, which became Vangent in 2007.

Veritas Capital acquired Vangent, then-known as Pearson Government Solutions, in 2007 for around $600 million and the private equity firm later sold the company to General Dynamics for $960 million in 2011.

General Dynamics integrated Vangent into its information technology business. After the transaction’s completion, Curtis joined Veritas Capital the following year, a move that led him to head The SI.

With Curtis at the helm, Perspecta demonstrates strong financial performance and business development push amid challenging market conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company earned $4.5 billion in fiscal 2020 revenue, up nearly 12 percent from $4.03 billion the year prior.

Within three years of its run as a public company, Perspecta booked several multimillion-dollar contracts from federal customers such as the Department of Defense, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the FBI.

Perspecta also announced its first significant acquisition about a year ago. In August 2019, the company completed its $250 million purchase of Knight Point Systems as part of its strategy to expand cloud, cyber, digital transformation and enterprise IT offerings intended to help government customers modernize mission delivery.

Curtis called the Knight Point transaction a “great first acquisition” that strengthened Perspecta’s capability set as well as complements its portfolio and culture while significantly accelerating its growth strategy.

His efforts at Perspecta didn’t go unnoticed. Two years after the company’s June 2018 launch, the board of directors selected Curtis as the successor to former chairman Mike Lawrie, whose term ended on Aug. 5 last year.

Lawrie lauded Curtis’ leadership, particularly his efforts in “executing a seamless integration of the legacy companies, enhancing Perspecta’s innovative solutions and services and developing a talented workforce.”

“Mac’s deep industry knowledge, executive management skills and strategic and tactical capabilities make him ideally suited to lead Perspecta’s continued growth as chairman,” Lawrie added.

Curtis has gained more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in federal government contracting. Aside from his business development, strategic planning, management skills and eye for acquisitions, he appeals to a “people before process” philosophy, and recognizes the value of Perspecta’s employees and their vital role in helping government customers complete their missions.

With the recent $7.1 billion transaction, Mac Curtis has again proven himself to be a visionary leader with an unmatched passion to serve and meet customers’ needs. He also has the business acumen to lead and grow a company into one of the leading players in the government IT services market.

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