GTCR backs E224m buyout at Getronics

The Dutch IT group has sold its US government information services business to DigitalNet.

Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR has backed the E224m buyout by DigitalNet of Getronics Government Solutions, the arm of Dutch IT services company Getronics NV that provides information management services to the US government.

GTCR made the acquisition alongside Ken Bajaj and Jack Pearlstein, the CEO and CFO of DigitalNet. GTCR had previously backed both men at AppNet, a provider of e-business solutions, where they were CEO and CFO also.  GTCR invested $100m in AppNet in July 1998 and the firm IPO'd in July, 1999.

Getronics NV has been under increasing pressure from its investors to reduce its debt and this sale was a key part of the company's strategy to respond to these demands.

Some analysts commented that the profitability of the operation made it a less than ideal sale candidate but the company was quick to explain the move. Jan Docter, CFO, said: 'Our other assets are inter-related to our international services offering. However the federal unit was very much a stand-alone business'.

Getronics Government Solutions provides information assurance, desktop, networking and e-government solutions to the US federal government. It has a 30-year history with the U.S. Department of Defense, civilian agencies and the intelligence community. The business is based in Northern Virginia and has more than 2,300 employees worldwide.