Voice-driven software firm sold to rival

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Vocalis Group, which provided software to call centres belonging to Powergen, Abbey National and Chelsea Building Society, was sold last night to competitor Netdecisions Holdings, a privately owned London-based computer company.

The sale took place almost immediately after the appointment of Paul Davis and Tim Dodler as administrators following a petition by the directors.

The company was formed in 1993 and floated on the London Stock Exchange at the height of the dotcom boom in 1996. But the Cambridge-based company found itself in financial difficulties and last March it issued a trading statement, warning shareholders that sales and revenues were going to be lower than expected. The company’s shares were suspended at the end of July.

Like many dotcoms, Vocalis found itself in debts because of high overheads and low income. Davis told ‘It was a capital-intensive startup. It had difficulties making customers in the pipeline into clients and overhead succeeded sales.’

The sale of the business was made through a share transfer and Netdecisons also agreed to take on some of Vocalis’ liability.

The majority of the staff kept their jobs but Paul Wright, the company’s chief executive and finance director, will not remain with the company.

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