Munich-based Softlab GmbH, developer of the Maestro Integrated Project Support Environment, yesterday announced the establishment of a London-based Softlab UK subsidiary. The strategy behind the announcement appears to be two-fold: enhanced and direct support for the UK’s sizable Maestro customer base at last count some 50,000 terminals at 45 customer sites – and a chance for the company to establish its projected 20% niche in the UK turnkey software development projects market, estimated to be worth some UKP60m over the next three years. The company was at pains to stress that although Maestro – which runs on processors from Philips Data Systems, which also acts as the product’s sole UK distributor – accounts for some 60% of its business, the remaining 40% is generated by its magical software facilities management services – essentially the provision of the tools, managers, project experts and people to write software programs in one stop shops or competence centre. Last year the company, which is 90% privately, 10% Bauern MoterWerke AG, BMW-owned, saw juicy pre-tax profits equivalent to $14.3m on a turnover of $50.6m, and has already established subsidiaries in Vienna, San Francisco and Chicago. BMW will shortly raise its stake to 28%.