Father and son make pounds 12m

A FATHER and son team will be pounds 12m richer when their information technology recruitment consultancy comes to the stock market early next month.

Sales Engineering & Computer Consultants yesterday announced plans to join the market through the reverse takeover of Omnimedia, the former CD-ROM publisher which is now effectively a shell company.

The sale will make multi-millionnaires of chief executive Nick Reid and his father, Bernard. Following the takeover, Mr Reid Junior will hold a 58 per cent stake in the company which will be worth an estimated pounds 11.6m. Meanwhile, his father is selling his 35 per cent shareholding, pocketing pounds 4m in the process.

Mr Reid, 35, said his father had helped him to start the business with a pounds 10,000 loan in 1987, but had never played an active role. He admitted that building up the company, which last year made pre-tax profits of pounds 965,000, had been a "long hard slog".

He said that he had originally looked at floating the business, which will be renamed Systems International following the takeover, on the the Alternative Investment Market. However, a reverse takeover proved to be cheaper. He said that Omnimedia also already holds a registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, making it easier for the company to pursue a listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange at some point in the future.

Systems International specialises in IT recruitment and consultancy services. It has a blue-chip customer base which includes Shell, Smithkline Beecham and Ciba Speciality Chemicals, a division of the Swiss drugs giant.

Mr Reid said the company was pursuing acquisitions, and was in talks with a business in the North of England. It is also pursuing new business in Switzerland, where it has made contacts with other drug firms.

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