AT& T to acquire GRC International Inc.

AT&T Corp. this week announced plans to acquire defense contractor GRC International Inc. for $221 million.

The purchase of GRCI, a technology consulting firm, should give AT&T's Government Markets division an even larger arsenal of services and abilities when bidding on federal contracts.

"A company really has to be able to provide a large, broad spectrum of services," said GRCI spokesman Wayne Jackson, who pointed to a trend within the information technology community in which large contractors such as Computer Sciences Corp. have been acquiring technology business consulting firms such as Nichols Research Corp.

GRCI, a Vienna, Va.-based company whose clients include primarily federal agencies, does business as a "professional services" firm — providing services that range from simple business consulting to software development to systems integration and database development. Defense Department agencies are prominent customers for the 1,400-person firm, which has an annual revenue stream of about $200 million.

AT&T officials described the acquisition as a logical partnership. "Here in Government Markets, we're a very entrepreneurial, customer-driven team," said Mary Jane McKeever, senior vice president for AT&T Government Markets. "And we definitely see the same thing with GRCI."

GRCI will retain its name but operate as a unit of AT&T Government Markets, according to sources familiar with the deal.

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