ECsoft Group Plc, Berkhamsted, UK survivor of the Big Bang that tore apart the ECsoft group, whose shares are traded only on Nasdaq in the US, has definitive agreement to start growing again by acquiring Swedish computer services company Astral AB. Astral, based in Stockholm, has a workforce of 56 and reported annual sales of about $4.9m last year. It specialises in implementing client-server systems that incorporate mainframes as servers, plus desktop environments and Internet technologies. It also has a specialist subsidiary, Astral RadioCom AB, via which it provides services in radio communications and related technologies, including systems to support Groupe Speciale Mobile networks. ECsoft employs 460 at offices in the UK, Norway and Denmark with a smaller operation in Sweden. The combined Swedish operation will be known as Astral-ECsoft AB. It is expected that the deal will be treated as a tax-free exchange of shares under US law, valuing Astral at about $6.4m.