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March 1, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Sage Group Plc, the UK-based accounting software company, in taking over Tetra Plc in an agreed 78.1m pound deal that takes the company into the mid-market and expands its offerings to software for manufacturing companies. On the day that it completed its $145m acquisition of US SME accounting software house Peachtree Software Inc (CI No 3,591), Sage signaled broader ambitions by devouring Tetra. With revenues of 30.3m pounds in its last financial year, Tetra been described as an ERP player as its software covers not only financial but also distribution manufacturing and services. Sage already has a mid-market offering in the Acuity product for companies with 101-500 employees which it took over as part of its 1998 acquisition of State of the Art Inc. Sage sees no conflict in offering TetraÆs CS/3 and Acuity through its international network. While Sage has based its success on buying companies in each geographic market rather than adapting one product to different countries, the company believes that the mid-market sector is more open to an international approach. TetraÆs CS/3 is client-server based, can run on Windows NT and all varieties of Unix, and can be implemented over databases from Microsoft, Oracle and Informix. It offers a package of more than 30 software modules and is currently testing e-commerce software. While its channel sales tend to be with mid-sized national companies, Tetra has sold packages to multinationals such as Glaxo Welcome, Motorola and Nestle. Sage rejects the idea that Tetra is an ERP outfit and says that while the big ERP vendors are moving downmarket, it never pitches against them as they are not interested in customers with under 1,000 employees.

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