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October 6, 1999

Tadpole Buys Conic for Utility Market Push

By CBR Staff Writer

Tadpole Technology Plc, the Cambridge, UK maker of high performance portable computers, is spending $1.25m to acquire Conic Systems Inc, a San Antonio, Texas developer of mobile graphical information systems and mapping software. The purchase, which includes Conic’s Edinburgh, Scotland subsidiary, is designed to strengthen Tadpole’s Cartesia division, which has developed mobile devices for field workers.

Apart from the extra software skills, the acquisition gives Tadpole access to Conic’s 20 business partners in Europe, North American and Australia and its customer base that includes more than 50 gas, water telecoms and government agencies.

Tadpole chief executive Bernard Hulme claimed that Conic’s acquisition allows the company to create a world-class business unit with extended technologies, skills and products. The Tadpole-Cartesia division offers a Java-based suite of hardware and software so that maps and job management data can be downloaded from corporate servers using GSM or conventional phones to field workers using a handheld computer.

Tadpole is also raising 2.2m pounds ($3.5m) though an issue of unsecured convertible debentures to pay for the Conic acquisition and provide additional working capital for the enlarged group. The company said that losses in the six months to September 30 have been of the order of 1.3m pounds ($2m) compared with 1.9m pounds ($3m) in the previous half year.

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