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July 27, 1988

THORN’s COMPUTERAID SEEKS ACQUISITIONS, PLANS TO TAKE ON 100, IN GRANADA BATTLE

By CBR Staff Writer

Farnborough, Hampshire based Computeraid Services, Thorn EMI Plc’s independent maintenance company, has announced that it is to take on an extra 100 staff over the next 12 months. This follows an increase in the number of staff to 290 from 170 last year. Managing director Mr Maurice O’Brien said more staff were needed to cope with increased demand for the company’s services, which saw turnover rise 100% to over UKP7.0m last year and is expected to rise to UKP11m in the present financial year. Computeraid Services specialises in supplying maintenance for business micro and minicomputer systems, peripherals and point of-sale systems. Formed in 1984 by the amalgamation of a number of small maintenance divisions within the Thorn EMI group it concentrates on a selected range of products including MS-DOS micros, Televideo, Future Computer micros and a range of point of-sale systems. Mr O’Brien claims the company has built up substantial experience in communications and networked environments and covers both local and wide area networks. He admitted the arrival of the stand-alone micro caused the maintenance industry to go into a slide four years ago. However the arrival of networks and the problems of non-compatibility within networks has brought about a resurgence in recent years. The acquisition of ISG Computer Engineering, the maintenance arm of ISG Data Sales Ltd, has strengthened its position in the IBM market and provides expertise in Qume printers and terminals. While Zygal Services, acquired last year, has broadened its base in mini and microcomputers and dot-matrix printers. The company says it plans a number of acquisitions during the next 12 months, probably UKP2m to UKP3m size companies said Mr O’Brien. Following the success of Granada’s one-stop-shop solution, he revealed that Computeraid is close to agreement with a number of hardware manufacturers to supply full time maintenance backup as part of an overall package.

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