CACI seeks to break up General Dynamics’ acquisition of CSRA: sources

(Reuters) – U.S. defense contractor CACI International Inc (CACI.N) has offered to merge with larger peer CSRA Inc (CSRA.N), seeking to disrupt the latter’s $6.8 billion acquisition by General Dynamics Corp (GD.N), people familiar with the matter said.

FILE PHOTO: A General Dynamics sign is shown at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in San Diego, California, U.S. October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The move comes after CSRA agreed last month to sell itself to General Dynamics, another defense contractor, for $40.75 per share in cash, as companies in the sector seek to position themselves for a pickup in government spending under U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

CACI’s shares have jumped by more than a fifth in the last four months, emboldening the Arlington, Virginia-based company to use its currency to pursue a transformative deal, the three sources said on Sunday. CACI has a market capitalization of $3.9 billion, compared with CSRA’s $6.7 billion.

CACI’s $44 per share for CSRA offer consists of $15 per share in cash and 0.184 CACI shares for each CSRA share, one of the sources said. Under the terms of CACI’s offer, CSRA shareholders would own 55 percent of the combined company, according to the sources.

CSRA’s board has yet to respond to CACI’s offer, although its preference remains an all-cash deal, one of the sources said.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. CACI, CSRA and General Dynamics did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Wall Street Journal first reported on CACI’s offer for CSRA earlier on Sunday.

CSRA provides information technology and related services to the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. General Dynamics is hoping that CSRA will help it grab more of the recently increased U.S. defense budget. Under the terms of their deal, CSRA would have to pay General Dynamics a $204 million breakup fee to do a deal with someone else.

CACI has also been seeking to build scale through dealmaking. In 2016, it acquired the government services division of L3 Technologies Inc (LLL.N) for $550 million in cash. It also made an unsuccessful offer to merge with Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N) government information technology and services businesses.

Other recent deals in the sector include U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp’s (NOC.N) agreement last September to buy Orbital ATK Inc (OA.N) for about $7.8 billion, a deal that gives it greater access to lucrative government contracts and expands its arsenal of missile defense systems and space rockets.

Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington, D.C. and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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