In a rocky year, Virginia’s biggest companies still landed major deals
In spite of the global pandemic that shuttered many smaller businesses, Virginia’s largest companies still inked major deals and scored contracts worth billions of dollars in 2020.
In July 2020, Dominion Energy Inc. canceled its planned $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline and sold its gas transmission and storage business to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for almost $10 billion. Having completed a 12-megawatt offshore wind pilot project last year, the company submitted its plans in December for a $7.8 billion, 2,640-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Virginia Beach. Construction is underway on a $500 million vessel to assemble the farm’s wind turbines.
Reston-based Leidos Holdings Inc. announced in May 2020 the completion of its acquisition of Massachusetts- and England-based L3Harris Technologies’ security detection and automation businesses for approximately $1 billion in cash. This January, Leidos also completed its $215 million acquisition of Reston-based information technology services company 1901 Group LLC.
Following the December 2019 announcement that it had secured a $22.2 billion contract — the largest in U.S. Navy history — to produce nuclear submarines, Reston-based General Dynamics Corp. landed a $9.474 billion in contract modifications in November 2020 to build and test the first two Columbia-class intercontinental ballistic missile submarines. A month earlier, the company’s General Dynamics Information Technology Inc. subsidiary was awarded the $4.4 billion, 10-year Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) contract from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Department of Defense.
In November 2020, Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division received a $2.2 billion contract modification from General Dynamics Electric Boat for construction of the first two Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines. HII also broke ground in Hampton on its $47 million Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence, a manufacturing and research facility to develop underwater drones.
Peraton, a subsidiary of New York- based private equity firm Veritas Capital, announced its all-cash acquisition of Chantilly-based national security contractor Perspecta Inc. for $7.1 billion in January. In February, Peraton closed on its $3.4 billion cash purchase of Falls Church-based aerospace and defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp.’s federal IT and mission support services business.
In other contracting news, Northrop Grumman landed several major awards over the last year, including: a potential five-year, $3.6 billion contract for work on the U.S. Air Force’s communications relay system; a potential $4.8 billion contract to modernize the branch’s drones; a $1.16 billion Navy contract to manufacture electronic warfare systems; and the first $13.3 billion phase of an expected $85 billion Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) contract.
Tysons-based IT services company DXC Technology completed the sale of its U.S. State and Local Health and Human Services business to private equity firm Veritas Capital for $5 billion and sold off its health care software provider business to privately held Italian company Dedalus Group for $525 million in cash. The company’s board also declined an unsolicited and nonbinding offer from Paris-based IT company Atos SE to purchase all of DXC’s shares for a reported $10 billion.
In Hampton Roads, Norfolk Southern, which is expected to finish moving its corporate headquarters from Norfolk to Atlanta by the third quarter of this year, sold its 22-story Norfolk Southern Tower to Suffolk-based TowneBank and Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters for $30 million in June.
McLean-based global food product manufacturer Mars Inc. announced in November 2020 it had acquired healthy snack manufacturer Kind North America for an undisclosed amount.
And in January, Richmond-based freight forwarding company Estes Forwarding Worldwide (EFW) — a wholly-owned subsidiary of Estes Express Lines — announced the establishment of EFW Warehousing LLC as a result of its September acquisition of Greensboro, North Carolina’s Lewis Logistics, a warehousing, distribution and logistics company, for an undisclosed amount. Estes plans this year to grow its trucking fleet by 15% and its staff by more than 10%, adding 2,500 workers across the nation.
- Largest public companies*
- Virginia companies on the Black Enterprise 100
- Inc. 500 companies located in Virginia
- Largest private companies*
- Defense contracts
- Mergers & acquisitions
*Partial list – full lists available for purchase at VirginiaBusiness.com/lists.