Continuing its rapid diversification away from the overcrowded and cut-throat personal computer market that made its fortune and came close to killing it, Apricot Computers Plc yesterday accompanied some sturdy figures – profits doubled to UKP8m, sales up 20% at UKP85m – with news that it is making two more acquisitions that will take it into high-performance graphics workstations – Sigmex International Plc; and insurance software specialist Adatco Ltd. The UKP3.9m share exchange agreement for Crawley, Sussex-based Sigmex looks like a done deal because Apricot has irrevocable acceptances with respect to 62.5% of the shares; it is paying UKP2m up front for Adatco and a further earn out consideration of up to UKP1.5m more depending on profits for the year to August 1988. Sigmex has shown itself better at winning Queen’s Awards and impress ive foreign orders than in winning profits, but Apri cot sees economies in manufacturing and a combination of Sigmex graphics technology with its workstations as attractions. Adatco’s software for the insurance industry will widen Apricot’s scope in the financial services market, and running on DEC VAX hardware, it can be sold alongside the Apricot’s existing Quasar product line. Discussion of the deals – see page 5.
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