Early Briefing: Carlyle-Booz?

*Carlyle Group of the District is in talks to buy the government business of McLean's Booz Allen Hamilton, which accounts for most of its employees and about half its revenue. See story. If an agreement is reached, the sale price will likely be around $2 billion, the WSJ reported (subscription required). The Financial Times said Carlyle was only one potential buyer and other bidders might be interested in structuring a different deal, possibly in­volving the corporate arm as well.

*Discovery Communications of Silver Spring is partnering with Oprah Winfrey to launch the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, using Discovery's Health Channel. See story

*Arlington County officials say residential property assessments for this year are expected to dip slightly, about 1.25 percent for single-family homes and 2 percent for condominiums.

But the value of shopping centers and office buildings is expected to rise 12.3 percent, officials said, giving the county a 5.3 percent boost in the overall property tax base.

*The $970 million sale of two Dominion Resources natural gas utilities to Equitable Resources of Pittsburgh was canceled. Dominion blamed delays in regulatory approval.
Dominion, headquartered in Richmond, said it would look for other buyers for Dominion Hope, which has about 115,000 customers in West Virginia, and Dominion Peoples, which has about 359,000 customers in Pennsylvania. See press release.

*The Washington Post Co.'s Kaplan education unit, expanding outside of the United States, agreed to buy Pacific Language Institute, a provider of English language programs in Vancouver and Toronto. PLI offers courses to prepare students for tests in English proficiency, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language, usually required for admission to U.S. universities, said Kaplan, based in New York. See press release.

*THQ said it will buy computer game designer Big Huge Games. The companies did not disclose the terms. Big Huge Games previously developed Civilization II and other titles and is working on a game for THQ for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC. It employs about 100 people at its studio in Timonium, Md., outside Baltimore. See press release.

*NeuStar, a provider of clearinghouse services for the communications industry, said that it has purchased Webmetrics in an all-cash deal. Terms were not disclosed.

NeuStar, of Sterling, said the purchase is a strategic addition to its ultra services group, which provides Internet and network managed services to enterprise and carrier markets. See press release.

By Terri Rupar  |  January 16, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Re your Booz Allen item:
People with knowledge of recent BA revenue figs. indicate that the great majority of BA revenue and profits are from the government business, where ~90 percent of employees are.

Hardly distressed goods, like many private equity purchases, the BA govt business is robust and a leader, and it's hard to see how much cost could be taken from it, or value added, before a Carlyle exit.
Look for the possibility of an IPO as the way Carlyle, and BA partners, if they still own shares, will meet their ROI requirements--if the BA govt biz acquisition deal survives during the current rough patch for PE firms.

Michael Lent
Editor & Publisher
Government Services Insider

Posted by: Michael Lent | January 16, 2008 11:02 AM

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