Sage increases influence in Europe

Sage offered Pounds 7.8m for 59% of the company plus a further 19 euros per share for the remainder of the business. The total value of the acquisition is equal to Pounds 13.2m.

‘Industry-specific acquisitions such as Coala enable Sage to drive growth by offering more products, services and support to our customers,’ Sage chief executive Paul Walker said in a statement.

‘Of all industry-specific markets, the market for professional accountants is the most attractive to us, since professional accountants are key influencers of their customers’ software purchase decisions,’ said Walker.

A spokesperson said Sage was ‘sticking to the knitting,’ implying the company was carrying on its strategy of growth by acquisition. ‘The deal marks an entry into the accountants’ markets in France as the company has done in the UK over the last two years with acquisitions such as CSM and Hartley,’ he added.

And analysts backed the move with one telling Reuters it was a ‘sensible continuation’ of Sage’s trend of buying small business.

Coala’s accounts production software is used by more than 1,300 professional firms of accountants in France and is likely to be integrated with Sage’s own software.

For the year to 31 December 2001, Coala revenues are expected to be in the region of Pounds 7m, and operating profit is expected to be in the region of Pounds 1.1m.

Sage’s price was up 10.5p at 203p at time of going to press.


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