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August 10, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Automatic Information Management Ltd, the systems and software subsidiary of the Grandways supermarket chain, William Jackson and Son Plc, has been sold to the management in a deal that values AIM at UKP1.4m. The Hull-based company, formed in 1976, has operated as a separate trading company since 1979 and, in the year to April 1987, made a pre-tax profit of UKP328,000 on a turnover of UKP7.2m that was split almost equally between three divisions. The UKP2.4m-a-year Professional Systems division develops and sells integrated packages for solicitors. The Charter II package, which includes accounts, time and fee recording, word processing, debt collection, conveyancing and seven other modules, runs under Unix on Altos kit while the ICL PC Quattro-based MicroCharter consists of five modules. The UKP2.3m Retail and Commercial Systems arm specialises in software for supermarkets and other retail outlets. Among its products are the RetailBase modular electronic-point-of-sale package, which supports laser scanning and handheld portable data entry; Merchandiser, a micro-based programme for high value, low volume shops; Crossbow-Bond, an on-line warehouse management system; and Pisces, a fleet vessel management suite. The division also claims considerable data capture and network communications experience. The biggest division, albeit marginally, is Computing Facilities and Supplies, which had a turnover of UKP2.5m last year. It offers facilities management; communicati ons consultancy – it has installed over 100 data voice networks; bureau services, based on an ICL Series 3900 mainframe and an ME29; and a guaranteed 24-hour delivery computer supplies business. The buyout has been backed by Melville Street Invest ments Plc, the venture capital subsidiary of Edin burgh-based British Linen Bank, and the Bank Of Scotland, and is aimed at producing an Unlisted Securities Market quote in the fairly immediate future. AIM employs 180 people on four sites.

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