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July 2, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM System 38 specialist JBA (UK) Ltd has merged with System 36 player IPS Information Processing Services Ltd and reincorporated the combined company as JBA Plc, based in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The decision to become a public limited company was taken in the belief that the public tag will reflect stability and generate confidence because of the additional disclosure it implies – but the company does have it in mind to seek an Unlisted Securities Market quotation for its shares in a year or so. With IPS’ foreign contacts – it has agents in 14 countries, and JBA’s track record among users in this country – Thorn EMI, Unilever and Pentland are amongst its customers, out of a combined total of 500, JBA Plc plans to move into the international market in a big way. It also hopes to acquire companies to complement its present accounting and other products – now combined into two portfolios, Business/38 and Business/36 – but declined to name any in particular. Extra staff are to be taken on to deal with the increased business expected from the combination: JBA currently employs 300, plans to add 30 this year, but expects to be adding 40 a year within two years. JBA and IPS had a combined turnover of UKP6.4m in 1986 with pre-tax profit of UKP330,000, nearly UKP250,000 of it from JBA (UK). The new company is forecasting to achieve a turnover of UKP9m this year with profits of UKP750,000. Commenting on the merger, Pacific Associates, another leading dealer in the IBM mid-range market, reckons the move is a timely one as competition is increasing in the field. It says major competitors will include Bluebird, CP Programing and Guardian but warns things won’t be easy, pointing to another combination that turned sour.

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