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July 21, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

McCormack and Dodge is looking for acquisitions in Europe and Peterborough Software Ltd is likely to head its shopping list if UK managing director Phil Edwards gets his way. Europe currently accounts for 30% of McCormack and Dodge’s turnover and is considered an important growth market by the Dun and Bradstreet company. It has already begun an $8m investment programme designed to increase its presence in the UK and on the continent and, according to Edwards, it is now ready to start making acquisitions. The prime target is a payroll package developer, ideally, says Edwards, Peterborough Software. But first he has to convince his own bosses to buy and then they have to convince Peterborough’s owner, insurance broker C E Heath Plc, to sell. Both could be hard work. Edwards thinks his superiors may be looking at purchases in Scandanavia, while C E Heath company secretary Michael Burton says Peterborough, of which he is chairman, is not for sale, although, obviously, everything has its price. Peterborough is compatible with our retail services business and is making a valuable contribution in its own right. Burton does not rule out, however, some form of collaboration between Peterborough, which recently reported pre-tax profits up 10% on turnover up a similar amount at UKP8.9m, and McCormack and Dodge. Even without an acquisition, McCormack and Dodge has plenty to keep it going in the UK. It has just celebrated its best ever month – UKP1.4m revenue in June – helped by a UKP600,000 order from Harris Queensway Group and Edwards is projecting a turnover of at least UKP9.3m this year, up from UKP7.4m in 1986. The UK company has recently purchased an ICL 3960 mainframe for UKP1.4m to add to its IBM 3090 and DEC VAX at its Bristol Technology Centre, and its French centre is developing a version of the Millenium product for the Honeywell Bull DPS 7 and DPS 8 machines.

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