ABM Sells US Government Services Unit, Incl. Language Business, for USD 35.5m

Outsourcing giant ABM sold its Government Services (ABMGS) business to Valiant Integrated Services (Valiant) for USD 35.5m. Valiant was created earlier in 2017 by a buyout of certain assets from a company called Supreme Group.

According to an article in the Washington Business Journal, the government services segment generated USD 74.3m in the first six months of ABM’s fiscal year, which ends on October 31, 2017. At around a quarter of annual revenues, the sale price therefore seems very low.

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One of ABMGS’ three main business lines is providing linguistic, translation, and interpretation services in war zones, or what in military jargon is called “in-theater”.

According to a press release, ABMGS has “numerous active contracts (…) including agreements with the US Army, US Air Force, US Navy, and the Internal Revenue Service.” The company is headquartered in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

According to Valiant CEO Jim Jaska, the combined company will generate roughly USD 250m in annual revenue and will have 1,200 employees.

According to Insidegov.com, since 2011 ABMGS has secured contracts worth over USD 200m under the NAICS code 541930, which stands for Translation and Interpretation Services. All of the contracts are with the US Department of Defense (DoD).

This does not yet include ABM’s most recent win the selection of the company as one of the vendors in what’s likely one of the largest language services contracts ever. On March 3, 2017, the DoD had awarded a giant 10-year Army contract worth USD 9.86bn under a program called Defense Language Interpretation Translation Enterprise (DLITE II).

The DLITE II contract will provide interpreting, translating, and transcription services for US Army missions across the globe.

Furthermore, the US military is rolling out machine translation capabilities in the field, equipping soldiers with portable translation devices developed under the Machine Foreign Language Translation System program.

Gerard Castañeda

Research Associate for Slator.com. Runs, bikes, and climbs mountains for fun.