Hoskyns Group Plc has agreed to acquire Inset Ltd, holding company for The Instruction Set Ltd and The Instruction Set International Ltd, for an initial UKP3.5m, to ne raised via a vendor placing of 654,439 new shares at 535 pence. Plessey Co Plc, which currently owns about 75% of Hoskyns shares, is taking up 370,770 of the shares being placed, so that following the placement, 25% of Hoskyns share capital will be in public hands and Plessey will own 70%, the balance being with Hoskyns principals. The agreement also includes an enormous earnout of UKP8.7m if The Instruction Set’s meets pre-set targets between now and March 31 1991. For example, by March 1990, Geoff Unwin, chairman of Hoskyns said he expects Inset to produce UKP7m in turnover and UKP500,000 in profits, payment again being in Hoskyns shares. The Instruction Set, which had turnover of just under UKP5m for the year to March 31 1989 will join Hoskyns’ Systems Integration division but will exist as a separate Unix entity within the division alongside the IBM, DEC, Hewlett-Packard and ICL technology units. Each of these units feeds into the market sectors in which Hoskyns is active – these being the manufacturing, distribution, financial, public and services sectors. The Instruction Set was set up in 1984 and has rapidly established itself as a market leader in Unix training. Employing 130 people in London and the US, it offers open systems consultancy services and develops Unix systems and application software. In the year to March 31 1989 it made a pre-tax loss of UKP18,000 which it attributed to investment in both its US operation and its new OS/2 course currriculum. Unwin said that the OS/2 development would remain part of Hoskyns’ new open systems division for now. Both Inset and Hoskyns see the merger of the two companies as sensible given the growing need to provide consultancy and training services to users wishing to move to Unix from proprietary systems.
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