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Technology / AI and automation

KEWILL GREATLY STRENGTHENS CONTINENTAL PRESENCE WITH LOSS-MAKING GERMAN BUY

Kewill Systems Plc, as reported briefly on Friday is paying UKP400,000 upfront to acquire Stuttgart, Germany-based production control and manufacturing control systems software house Weigang MCS GmbH. The deal will increase Kewill’s presence in continental Europe, which the company hopes will now account for 60% of total group sales. Kewill has CAD/CAM subsidiaries in Austria and Switzerland, but is otherwise restricted to the UK, with an operation in the US. Weigang’s flagship in-house product is a materials requirement planning package called Structura, which is targeted at small and medium-sized manufacturers, running under Unix on Hewlett-Packard HP 9000 series, but the company also distributes Kewill’s CAD/CAM product, the CAD 400. Weigang adds a staff of 125 to Kewill’s 450 and brings eight German sales offices, including one in Berlin, and has a user base of 600, including BSI-Thyssen and Bosch-Siemens. According to Richard Broad, Kewill’s finance director, Weigang’s employees will stay unless business deteriorates – but, he says, orders as they stand are reasonable. For the six months to December 31, following restructuring, Weigang turned in pre-tax losses of UKP300,000 on sales of UKP5.7m. Kewill may pay a further UKP400,000 depending on the German company’s profits to March 31, 1992 and Kewill will also take over UKP500,000 in loan guarantees. The two companies will merge over the next 12 months and Weigang’s skilled development team will join with Kewill to work on a new Computer Integrated Manufacturing product for the small user, which runs on personal computers, network systems and Unix boxes, primarily IBM’s RS/6000. The manufacturing product, which is being part-funded by the Department of Trade & Industry and the European Community, is set for commercial release at the end of the year.

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CBR Staff Writer

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