Corporate VAR Microgen is pushing through an acquisition of financial software specialist AFA Systems, just weeks after it lost another take-over battle.
In July, Microgen went head to head with rival Morse over SAP integrator Diagonal. Despite the fact that Microgen had been in discussions with Diagonal for two years about a possible acquisition, Morse's £50m offer won. Microgen subsequently sold its 7.2 per cent stake in Diagonal to Morse for about £600,000.
Microgen announced last week that it has acquired more than 90 per cent of AFA's shares for about £7.2m, and revealed it will enforce its statutory right to acquire the remaining shares.
Mike Phillips, group finance director at Microgen, said the deal would strengthen its existing business, which specialises in the development of software for the financial services sector.
But he added that Microgen is still on the look-out for an SAP specialist. "If we found an opportunity similar to Diagonal then it may well be looked at as a potential acquisition," Phillips said.
Earlier this year analyst Ovum Holway said financial services will be one of the most buoyant sectors for IT.
A representative of Microgen rival Misys said: "As we said in our full-year results in July, we are cautiously more positive about the market. Banks seem prepared to spend on IT again."
AFA's board resigned after Microgen's offer became unconditional on 13 August. Phillips said all of its acquisitions - it has made three in the past 12 months - were subsumed and managed by the Microgen board.
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