Image via Braxton Science & Technology Group.

Image via Braxton Science & Technology Group.

Colorado Springs-based aerospace contractor Braxton Science & Technology Group LLC and its parent company O'Neil Group Co. LLC have agreed to buy West Melbourne, Fla.-based Space/Ground System Solutions Inc., their third acquisition in less than three years.

The deal is expected to be completed during the first quarter and is subject to approval by regulators and Braxton's board of directors, according to a news release issued Monday by both companies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. SGSS, which will operated as a wholly owned Braxton subsidiary, employs 25 in West Melbourne and 45 in two offices in the Washington, D.C., area. Those employees, along with the company's four founders, will be retained, said Braxton President Ken O'Neil. Braxton employs 155 people in five subsidiary companies.

"SGSS specializes in command-and-control software maintenance. They are a perfect fit for our portfolio. We like to have one or two acquisitions a year, and we are working on two others that we would like to complete later this year," O'Neil said. "There will be growth opportunities in Colorado Springs, because SGSS supports contracts at Schriever and Buckley Air Force bases as well as the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M."

Braxton acquired Gnostech, a 75-employee engineering and consulting company based in the Philadelphia area, in late 2014 and bought Net-Centric Design Professionals (NDP Group), a Boulder-based engineering company with 50 employees that specializes in cybersecurity and systems integration, in mid-2013. O'Neil Group acquired a majority interest in Braxton from its founders in 2008 and moved its offices to Colorado Springs from California.

SGSS provides engineering services to the Naval Research Laboratory for spacecraft design, development, integration and testing; satellite pre-launch, launch and mission operations as well as network design, development and administration, according to the company's website (www.sgss.com). Software developed by SGSS is used in ground stations that control more than 20 satellites and the company also has worked on software and testing for the International Space Station, the Clementine spacecraft and numerous satellites for the Department of Defense, according to the website.

"SGSS was founded on the premise that quality engineers are the most important factor when designing and developing high-technology software systems for space applications," SGSS President and cofounder Bob Tormala said in the release. "We chose to become part of the BTSG team because we have a similar outlook, customer base and focus along with a talented and capable engineering staff. We decided to join a company that promotes innovative solutions, sound engineering practices and outstanding customer support."

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