Wynyard gets toehold in US market with Northrop Grumman tie-up

Chief executive Craig Richardson: Great US opportunities ahead

Wynyard Group, the security and risk management software firm owned by Jade Software, has got a toehold in the US, partnering with Virginia-based Northrop Grumman Corp.

The deal gives Wynyard access to a $US2 billion market, which accounts for about half the global market in security and risk management software, and will give the New Zealand firm a foot in the door to securing the US Federal government as a customer.

New York Stock Exchange-listed Northrop Grumman is the world's fourth-biggest defense contractor with annual revenues of $US26.4 billion.

Chief executive Craig Richardson told BusinessDesk the alliance gives the New Zealand firm the credibility that comes with partnering alongside a major player, and will mean Wynyard will have to ramp its investment in North America, including finding office space in Washington DC, before reaping revenue in 2014.

"In the medium-term plan, 2013 is about building awareness in the market," Mr Richardson says. "We're really targeting the 2014 year for the more material earnings."

Wynyard is being touted as Christchurch-based Jade's growth opportunity, and has broken into the security markets in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Getting a share of the US market gives it access to four of the so-called "Five Eyes" Echelon intelligence network.

Mr Richardson says Wynyard is hoping to get into the US intelligence, security and law and order sectors as it looks to sell its software which can replace much of the menial processes associated with sorting information by collecting and assessing intelligence and potential threats.

Wynyard is looking at some specific opportunities that it wants to close next year, and is not in a position to put a dollar figure on the alliance, he says.

Wynyard has previously indicated plans to raise capital late next year, though Mr Richardson says the US partnership isn't capital intensive and won't require fresh funding.

Edward Swallow, Northrop Grumman vice-president of business development civil systems, says the partnership will give the American company access to Wynyard's capabilities.

The deal "makes good sense and brings additional value to our customers that require innovative, affordable, agile and technologically advanced solutions", he says.

(BusinessDesk)

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