Mobile supplier Tadpole Technologies has bought UK company Systems Synthesis (SSL), a Java company that supplies thin client systems to large public utilities.
According to Tadpole, the deal will give it access to SSL's Cartesia geographic information software, which is already used by electricity companies Scottish Power, Manweb and Norweb. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Tadpole also revealed that it recently won a mobile Java systems contract from Bristol Water.
Tadpole made the acquisition to help position itself as a supplier of mobile Java systems. Utilities, the company claims, prefer a three tier approach to applications, with thin clients, to conventional systems using portable PCs.
SSL's Cartesia, is specially designed for thin client machines to support GIS systems.
Bernard Hulme, chief executive of Cambridge-based Tadpole, said: 'Utilities around the world are faced with a complex business environment where cost reductions must be achieved simultaneously with increases in service level targets.'
Hulme claimed that utilities' traditional IT systems lack enterprise-wide integration and that Java and Corba object technologies will help them achieve that integration. Cartesia, for example, works with any Java Virtual Machine, network computers, Unix and Windows, he added.
Tadpole has had a bumpy ride with the UK stock exchange, suffering from a series of share price suspensions over the years.
Its share price was last suspended in April 1997 in view of a 'significant pending transaction'.
At the time, analysts said Tadpole was in urgent need for additional funding and that the company was looking for a white knight.
But it appeared that Tadpole has managed to revive its fortunes, when it gained a necessary boost after receiving an injection of several million pounds from an unnamed investor. This prompted its share price to rise on the UK stock exchange in February.
Tadpole recently showed that it was on the way back to the black when it announced pre-tax losses far less than it had experienced in the previous year.
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