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Road Runner Sports Posted: February 14, 2004

Athletics: Sirius founder gives up corner office for running track

By Leo Valiquette, Ottawa Business Journal Staff (Wed, Feb 4, 2004 11:00 AM EST)

Ken Parker, founder of IT staffing firm Sirius Consulting Group, believes the acquisition by TrekLogic offers the best exit strategy for the company as he seeks to pursue personal interests.

Parker, president and CEO of Sirius, commented on his plans a day after TrekLogic announced the acquisition had been completed.

TrekLogic is a mid-sized Toronto-based IT staffing and consulting firm with big plans. Sirius is the company's second Ottawa acquisition in the past year, following after InBusiness Solutions last fall.

Financial terms of the Sirius deal are not being disclosed. TrekLogic said it paid cash plus a two-year convertible note worth $1 million.

Parker said it is common for Sirius to be approached by several potential suitors each year. In every case, both sides sit down, put their cards on the table and add up the numbers.

Before TrekLogic came knocking, none of those previous offers were worthy, he said.

Parker founded Sirius nine years ago on "eight days notice" after he took advantage of an opportunity to break away from IT services giant EDS and strike out on his own.

Since then the company has grown to $17 million in annual revenues and earned a number of distinctions, such as ranking on Branham's list of Canada's top 50 professional services companies and being named company of the year in 2001 by the Greater Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.

"But everything has to come to an end at some point and rather than wait for another opportunity that might not present itself we decided to pursue (TrekLogic's offer)," he said.

Parker said he has been looking towards retirement. With his son focused on a career in wealth management, he decided to entertain bids to buy Sirius that offered the best return for staff, clients and contractors.

He said the combination of Sirius with TrekLogic and InBusiness creates a number of opportunities to drive growth and market share. The key market in Ottawa for both companies is the federal government. That meant there were a number of instances where the two firms competed with each other.

Parker said he will remain with Sirius on a part-time basis to help with the transition and integration.

Sirius's VP of business development, Jean Ricard, will take over as the head of the combined InBusiness/Sirius operation.

The combined operation is expected to have annual revenues of more than $40 million, accounting for about half of TrekLogic's overall revenues.

Parker, 62, plans to devote his time to a venture that has grown out of his passion for running and triathlon. He maintains a general news and information Web site for running sports called Maintaining the site already demands about six hours of his time a day in addition to his responsibilities at Sirius.

"That's something that started as a hobby and might grow into a low key business in the future," he said.

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