Apollo Global in talks to buy US military security services provider Constellis

Private equity firm Apollo Global Management is in talks to buy US military security services provider Constellis Holdings (earlier known as Blackwater), Reuters yesterday reported, citing, a spokeswoman for Constellis as saying.

Although the Constellis spokeswoman declined to comment on the price being negotiated with Apollo, sources familiar with the deal told Reuters that Constellis could be valued at more than $1 billion, including debt.

The management of Constellis will be investing in the buyout along with Apollo, the report added.

Reuters had in June reported that Constellis, owned by private equity firms Forte Capital Advisors and Manhattan Strategic Ventures, had hired Chicago-based advisory firm BDT & Co to run an auction for the company. (See: US military security services company Constellis explores sale) Virginia-based Constellis was founded in 2003 by US Army Special Forces veterans and former Delta Force personnel Matt Mann and Tom Katis.

It provides security services focused on counter terrorism, force protection, training, law enforcement and security operations to government and commercial clients worldwide.

It employs more than 8,000 people, most of whom are former former Delta Force and Army Special Operations personnel, SEALs, Rangers, Marine Corps Special Operations, Marine Security Guards, and law enforcement officers, who operate in 25 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

It received its first contract from the US government to help guard and equip allied forces during the Iraq war in the war zone, especially for the Coalition Provisional Authority.

In 2014, it acquired Academi (formerly Blackwater), whose employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians and injured 20 in Nisour Square, Baghdad.  Four of its guards were later convicted by a US court.