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March 21, 1996

ADMIRAL CROSSES CHANNEL TO PAY UP TO #10M FOR THREE FRENCH COMPANIES

By CBR Staff Writer

Admiral Plc yesterday announced the proposed acquisition of Boulogne, France-based computer systems and software business Ares SA and its wholly owned subsidiaries Decylog Sarl and Abaqus SA. After its aborted attempt to buy a French software developer earlier this year, Admiral has been quick to line up its next deal. The announcement came only three weeks after the company said acquisitions in Europe were to be a priority (CI No 2,858). Ares specializes in client-server technology, network systems and industrial applications. Completion of the deal is dependent on the approval of the French Ministry of Finance, expected mid April. The consideration payable at this point will be the equivalent of #5.2m. A deferred payment to be made before March 15 1997 is dependent on Ares’ turnover and profit before tax for the period October 1 1995 to December 31 1996. Directors estimate the deferred sum will amount to about #1.9m, but the total consideration is capped at the French Franc equivalent of #10m. The transaction will be settled in cash from Admiral’s existing cash balances. Ares and its wholly owned subsidiaries made a profit of #700,000 for the year to September 30, on turnover of #8.4m. Consolidated net assets of the group at year end were #400,000. The current directors and founders will remain on the board. The City reacted well to news of the acquisition with Admiral shares jumping 15 pence to 988 pence at close of play yesterday.

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