Technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton is confident that its proposed acquisition of EverWatch, a defense and intelligence contractor, will move forward despite the Justice Department seeking to block the deal because of antitrust concerns.
Booz Allen announced its plan to buy EverWatch in March for an undisclosed sum. Both companies currently compete for government contracts that provide operational modeling and simulation services to the National Security Agency.
“I really can’t give you much more today until we close and we remain confident that we’re going to get there. It’s not included in the guidance that I provided earlier,” Lloyd Howell, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Booz Allen said during the company’s fiscal year 2023 earnings call on Friday.
The Justice Department last month filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland alleging that Booz Allen’s acquisition of EverWatch could create a monopoly bidder for National Security Agency defense contracts.
“Booz Allen’s agreement to acquire EverWatch imperils competition in a market that is vital to our national security,” said Jonathan Kanter, assistant attorney general within the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Both the acquisition agreement and the underlying transaction violate federal antitrust law.”
Prior to the merger agreement, Booz Allen and EverWatch competed head-to-head to win NSA contracts and then “Booz Allen decided to buy its only rival,” the Justice Department said.
Booz Allen pushed back on the DOJ’s claim and said that the acquisition will not only benefit the company but also their clients and the federal government.
“Our proposed acquisition of EverWatch increases both innovation and competition, and that the interest of the government and strategic acquirers are fully aligned,” Booz Allen CEO Horacio Rozanski said during the earnings call on Friday.
Earlier this year, Booz Allen appointed Kristine Martin Anderson as its new chief operating officer (COO), with Rich Crowe taking over as head of contracting giant’s civil business.