Carlyle in talks to buy U.S. defense contractor ManTech

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A general view of the lobby outside the Carlyle Group offices in Washington, May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:) Inc is in advanced talks to buy U.S. defense contractor ManTech (NASDAQ:) International Corp in a deal valuing it at about $4 billion, Bloomberg News reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Reuters exclusively reported in February that ManTech’s co-founder George Pederson was exploring options for his controlling stake that included a sale of the company.

Shares of Herndon, Virginia-based ManTech have since jumped 11%. The company has a valuation of about $3.4 billion as of its last close on Friday, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

The deal with Carlyle could be announced as soon as this week, the Bloomberg report said, adding that the agreement isn’t finalized and talks could still fall apart.

ManTech and Carlyle were not immediately available for comments when contacted by Reuters.

ManTech performs defense and non-defense contracting services for the intelligence community, the Pentagon and other government agencies. It has 9,400 employees.

The outlook for mergers and acquisitions in the defense sector has been uncertain after arms maker Lockheed Martin Corp (NYSE:) called off plans in February to buy rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings (NYSE:) Inc for $4.4 billion amid opposition from U.S. antitrust enforcers.

Since then, the Biden administration has released a report detailing recommendations to boost competition in its defense industrial base saying rapid consolidation has created a national security risk.