Software Development

M&A Moves: Cox Enterprises is set to acquire Axios for $525M

Plus, SES Government Solutions and QinetiQ are inking near-$500 million M&A deals around the local tech scene.

(L to R) Axios cofounders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz.

(Courtesy photo)

M&A Moves is a column where we chart the mergers and acquisitions of tech companies across the region. Have a tip? Email us at dc@technical.ly.


Cox is paying $525M for Axios

Following a prior investment, communications company Cox Enterprises announced its acquisition of Arlington, Virginia-HQed Axios Media for $525 million. Cox, which last invested in Axios in the fall of 2021, said the acquisition is part of a larger goal to grow and diversify Axios.

Through the deal, Cox CEO Alex Taylor will join the media company’s board. Axios cofounders Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz will retain their considerable stakes in the company and continue to lead the editorial and business decisions, according to Axios. Current Cox media companies will not be impacted by the deal and will remain operating independently from Axios.

“With so much happening in the world, Axios plays a critical role in delivering balanced, trusted news that people need,” Taylor said in a statement. “Our company started in the media business, and we have always had a passion for journalism. Bringing a forward-thinking organization like Axios into Cox Enterprises is exciting for us on many levels, and we look forward to helping them continue to scale and grow.”

SES completes acquisition of DRS Global Enterprise Solutions

Reston, Virginia satellite developer SES Government Solutions announced its completion of an acquisition deal with DRS Global Enterprise Solutions.

SES acquired the company, which develops satellite communications, from Leonardo DRS for $450 million. According to the pair, the combined company will function as a communications provider with the ability to support missions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air. David Fields, a senior VP and general manager of Leonardo, became president and CEO of the combined company as of Aug. 1.

“SES GS will be significantly expanding its differentiated value proposition for the US government, with a trusted multi-operator network integration and service management solutions,” said Fields in a statement. “The breadth of our capabilities, now spanning both connectivity and integration, allows for building, managing and supporting the most advanced satellite network solutions for our US government customers.”

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QinetiQ to acquire Avantus Federal for nearly $600M

This week, Lorton, Virginia defense tech company QinetiQ is bringing a new company into the fold.

QinetiQ, a subsidiary of QinetiQ Group, announced its intent to acquire Avantus Federal from NewSpring Holdings for $590 million. Avantus is a cyber, data and software development for customers like the Department of Defense, the intelligence community and other government-related entities. According to the companies, the business combination will create a growth platform to address the challenges of defense tech customers today. The deal is expected to close at the end of the year.

“We believe that the combination of QinetiQ US and Avantus will create a unique business in the US and globally with a powerful performance culture and scaled technical differentiation,” said Shawn Purvis, president and CEO of QinetiQ, in a statement. “This acquisition is a transformational platform that delivers on our growth strategy of building a disruptive mid-tier defense and intelligence company.”

Here’s what else you need to know on the regional M&A front:

  • Baltimore enterprise SaaS company ZeroFox closed its business combination with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) L&F Acquisition Corp last week, making it a public entity. The combined company, ZeroFox Holdings, began trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol ZFOX.
  • Speaking of, a few days after it completed its own SPAC deal, fellow SaaS company FiscalNote acquired South Korea-based Aicel Technologies.
  • Contract management software company Unison, based in Dulles, acquired government contractor compliance site FARclause.com.
  • Reston’s Leidos, a govtech company, reached an agreement to acquire the component of Australian aviation company Cobham Aviation Services’s business that is focused on special missions for the Australian government. The deal still needs regulatory approval before it can move forward.
  • ePlus, a Herdon, Virginia tech consulting company, acquired Future Com, a Texas cyber and cloud security firm.
  • McLean’s By Light Professional IT Services, a portfolio company of Sagewind Capital, acquired Veraxx Engineering, a flight simulation tech firm from Chantilly, Virginia.
Companies: Axios, ZeroFOX
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