Horizon North joins with Dexterra to augment logistics
Called the ‘Transaction’, this collaboration will provide businesses with a Pan-Canadian service which has expert logistical capabilities and the potential to earn CA$1bn in annual revenue.
Expected to generate significant value for stockholders, Transaction will fuse the best aspects of both companies: Horizon’s strong logistical presence in the west of the country and Dexterra’s centrally-focused workforce and platform.
Forming a strong network from the expertise of two leaders in their respective and complementary fields, the new support services venture will have a combined employee count of over 6,800 people.
Investing in an upgraded supply chain
Enabling the new enterprise is Fairfax Financial, a Toronto-based insurance firm, which will be brokering the investor rights agreement between Horizon and Dexterra.
"We are excited about the creation of a Pan-Canadian services company in Canada with the potential of $1 billion in revenue and great growth prospects for the future,” said Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax.
“We expect significant shareholder value to be created over the long term."
Dexterra’s CEO, John MacCuish, believed that the partnership would lead not just to improved supply chains, but also sustainability, corporate integrity and overall profits.
"We will be stronger together, building a sustainable and profitable business to create more opportunities for our people and enhance our delivery to the customers we serve and the clients we work for."
A vision to change Canadian business
The Transaction is conceived as being a component in a vision which seeks to change the landscape of Canadian business. Rod Graham, CEO of Horizon, believes that its partnership with Dexterra could be beginning of an exciting future.
“This transformational combination supports a vision for a new, premier, made-in-Canada company that brings size, scope, scalability and sophistication to the markets we serve, while creating value and unlocking growth potential for shareholders.”
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How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”