Firm behind London’s Oyster Card buys defence company for $114m

For Cubic, taking payments is a military operation. The transportation, defence and payments specialists power fare collections for some of the biggest transport infrastructure networks in the world. Now it’s looking to bring the internet to the battlefield.

The company has bought the Virginia-based DTech Labs for a whopping $114.5m in a bid to improve its mobile broadband operation for militaries. This side of the business involves selling $50m worth of secure communications devices to customers in the defence business, which use them to manage data transmission between drones and ground command centres, among other forms of communication. Cubic now wants to focus on quadrupling the value of this business.

What this acquisition does is it adds networking to our secure communications capability,” incoming Chief Executive Bradley Feldmann told UT Santiago. “It is almost like bringing the Internet to the battlefield, whether it’s in the air or on the ground.”

So, will this mark a shift in focus from payment technology and transport logistics to all-out defence? For Feldman, who gained his undergraduate degree from the United States Air Force Academy before landing high profile roles at a string of corporations that specialise in national security and defence surveillance, it would seem to be a natural fit.

What’s more, he has expressed an interest in buying up companies in relevant fields to speed up the transition.

I anticipate we will be doing further acquisitions,” he said. “We want to look for capability, but we don’t want to pay too much, either.”









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