Carlyle Group combines IST Research and Two Six Labs to form new company

By Marjorie Censer / May 20, 2021 at 2:30 PM

Private-equity firm the Carlyle Group earlier this year combined IST Research and Two Six Labs to form a new company called Two Six Technologies, led by a former Booz Allen Hamilton executive and focused on quickly getting products to the field.

In an interview with Inside Defense earlier this week, Joe Logue, who previously led Booz Allen's defense and intelligence business and now is at the helm of Two Six, said at the root of the new company was his view that a next-generation defense and intelligence company needs to be very adaptive and able to quickly turn technology into products and get them to warfighters.

Two weeks after Logue shared this investment thesis with Carlyle, IST Research became available, Logue said.

IST has a proprietary technology platform focused on helping customers collect open-source data and engage people. When it was acquired, Logue said, the company had $200 million in sole-source contracts.

"The idea again is productizing things, integrating wherever you need to, get it to the warfighter as quickly as possible," Logue said.

Just a few months later, the company acquired Two Six Labs, which specializes in cybersecurity and counts DARPA, U.S. Cyber Command and the Department of Homeland Security among its customers.

Logue said Two Six focused on research and development but had experience transitioning products out of that phase.

He told Inside Defense the newly combined company will be open to white-labeling capabilities from the commercial market.

In those cases, "we're not going to take the time to do it ourselves," he said. "If the capability exists, we're just going to bring it in."

"Time is of the essence, speed matters," Logue continued. "That provides a different mentality, a different speed that creates, in my opinion, some real differentiation."

He said his team is merging the two companies it has and weighing additional acquisitions.

"There's just a ton on the market right now so we are making sure we are being very specific about what we want," Logue said. Larry Prior, the former chief executive of CSRA, is now chairman of Two Six's board.

Logue said Two Six wants to stay focused on companies that provide products, along with some services.

"We're trying to stick to cyber, information operations, electronic systems, mobility, 5G is a big one for us," Logue said. "We are just looking at the problem sets by talking to clients. What are you trying to solve? What are you trying to figure out?"