(Bloomberg) -- QinetiQ Group Plc is looking to buy companies in the US and Australia to help the UK defense firm grow 75% over the next five years.
The London-based company expects the two markets to account for more than half of new business during that period, with around 30% growth in the UK, Chief Executive Officer Steve Wadey said Thursday.
“The priority for strategy-led acquisitions is in Australia and the US,” Wadey said in an interview.
QinetiQ, whose activities include evaluating warplanes and developing drones, land and sea systems, could spend as much as several hundred million pounds on a target that adds to the firm’s current capabilities, the CEO said.
QinetiQ is shopping abroad as foreign investors are snapping up UK defense assets. US firm Parker-Hannifin Corp. is awaiting regulatory approval for its planned takeover of Coventry, England-based aerospace company Meggitt Plc, while UK submarine supplier Ultra Electronics Holdings Plc in August accepted a £2.57 billion ($3.2 billion) buyout bid from Cobham Ltd., which is owned by US private-equity firm Advent International Corp.
Read: U.K.’s Kwarteng Agrees to Further Talks on Cobham’s Ultra Deal
Wadey said he’s not “adopting a defensive position” as he tries to expand QinetiQ, formerly owned by the UK defense ministry. The company earlier Thursday reported adjusted operating profit for the full year that beat analyst estimates.
The CEO said while QinetiQ is in talks with potential targets, it’s too early to say if any deals will close this year.
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