Posted by: InsideDefense    Written by: Marjorie Censer

Following multiple acquisitions, stability operations contractor Sterling Global Operations has rebranded itself as Janus Global Operations and is seeking growth.

The 28-year-old company has long specialized in demining operations, but a company executive said the new purchases are allowing it to expand its geographic footprint as well as its base of customers.

Sterling, as the Tennessee-based company was previously known, recently bought Janus Security International, SNE Special Projects, and Tundra Security Afghanistan.

Alan Weakley, a former Computer Sciences Corp. executive who is now president and chief operating officer of the rebranded Janus, told Inside Defense in an interview this week that the company had made its name working with the U.S. government to clear unexploded ordnance from former battlefields. Sterling worked almost exclusively with the Army Corps of Engineers.

When he arrived in 2013, the company began embarking on a plan to restructure and to eventually grow its commercial business and broaden its portfolio.

First, Weakley said Sterling spent about a year undergoing what he describes as a “get fit” process: reorganizing, changing its operating model and streamlining the organization.

As it then considered acquisitions, the company began identifying gaps in its business, pinpointing both countries and customers it wasn’t reaching.

When it acquired Janus, for instance, the former Sterling was able to expand its work in Iraq, Somalia and Mozambique. The purchase of SNE filled the contractor’s gaps in Libya and Egypt and added an operations support center in Dubai, according to Weakley.

He said the acquisitions — and the expanded licenses and locations they bring — will allow Janus to take on more complex programs.

The company now works in three main areas: disposal of unexploded ordnance; risk-management services, such as providing embassy guards or advisory services to non-governmental organizations before they arrive in an area; and lifecycle support, offering food, transportation and security in austere environments.

“Janus is not all things to all people,” Weakley said, noting that the company is seeking to remain in its core competencies.

It has about $300 million in annual sales and 7,000 employees, many of whom are contract employees in the field. Janus now operates in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Egypt, Uganda, Mozambique, Bosnia, Laos, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, among other places.

Janus has recently won work in Ramadi, Iraq, clearing abandoned unexploded ordnance as well as providing training, and a spot on the State Department’s worldwide protective services program, Weakley said.

He said the company would continue to pursue growth, both in acquisitions and in new work. Janus’ sales are split about 60-40 between U.S. government and private-sector work, which the company says includes commercial businesses — primarily oil and gas companies — and foreign governments. Weakley said he’d like to maintain that balance.

The Janus president said he’s also largely happy with the company’s geographic reach, though there might be further expansion in Africa. “The opportunities in Africa right now are compelling,” Weakley added.

The company’s work within the United States remains a “sliver” of its sales.

“Our plan is to continue to grow,” Weakley said. “There’s no lack of the need or the requirement for security or clearance.”