Unix-based applications software and systems supplier Minerva Plc has launched a new company to offer consultancy services and development and applications products. The new company, Minerva Open Systems Ltd becomes the fourth company in the Minerva group, established 1974. Other companies in the group are Minerva Industrial Systems, which sells Cobol and Basic-based applications to manufacturers and distributors; Minerva Recruitment Services, a computer industry recruitment agency; and Minerva Computer Systems, a vertical market systems supplier which specialises in membership list maintenance systems for clubs and charities. It has response desks in Luton and Cheltenham supporting its 250 customers in the south-east of England. The London-based group, with a total of 60 staff, says that it recorded a combined turnover of over UKP3m with UKP150,000 profit for the financial year ended May 1987 and is looking for 36% growth in the financial year drawing to a close. Miverva Computer Systems and the Industrial Systems arm accounted for a third of total turnover each while the Recruitment and Computer Systems operations combined contributed another third. The company is on the look-out for acquisitions – perhaps vertical market players offering turnkey solutions which are either viable businesses in their own right or would become so as part of one of the group’s existing subsidiaries. The creation of two more companies – to be based in the City of London – is in the Minerva expansion plan, and a total of six new ventures in the pipeline should be operational within the next two years. And expansion is almost entirely funded from within: Minerva is owned by its two working directors and its staff, and the directors have 90% of the equity. It was founded in 1974 as a UKP100 company and now has paid up share capital of UKP100,000. No word on flotation plan.