SAIC To Actually Go Public?
from the didn't-see-that-coming dept
If you're at all familiar with the history of SAIC, the huge, but tremendously secretive, government contracting firm that is famous for being "employee owned," it seems quite surprising to hear that the company is actually going to go public, in an attempt to raise nearly $2 billion. For years, employees could buy and sell stock from the company, but the price of the stock was determined regularly not by the public markets, but by an auditor who would value the company. As employees left, most were required to sell back their shares. It was a system that worked, as the company grew -- but this year, the company's 80-year-old founder, J. Robert Beyster, finally stepped down. It appears that the new folks in charge have decided to make a big shift in strategies by going public. Perhaps they realized they wouldn't be able to pull off another Network Solutions deal, where they bought the company for a few million, kept control while the company had full monopoly control over internet domains, and then spun it off for a few billion just before life got more difficult for the firm. It will definitely be interesting to see how the firm adjusts to having outside shareholders. They used to claim that part of their competitive advantage was that they weren't distracted by the whims of outside shareholders. Update: Thanks to an SAIC employee who posted a comment below explaining some of the rationale... which was basically that SAIC was propping up the stock itself by buying all the available shares, since employees weren't buying enough. Apparently, that was becoming way too expensive.