MDIS acquisition gives foothold in US market

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THE COMPUTER company MDIS, which came to the market in a pounds 260m flotation earlier this year, is to buy Xerox Computer Services for up to dollars 30m, writes Mary Fagan.

MDIS, now one of the largest British technology companies, was formed last year by a management buyout of the computer arm of McDonnell Douglas of the US.

A spokesman for MDIS said the acquisition would give it a foothold in the US market for computer software customised for manufacturing industry.

Xerox Computer Services' software is installed in 225 factories around the world. Customers include AT&T, Monsanto, Matsushita, Philips and Dunlop.

Jerry Causley, MDIS chief executive, said: 'The existing US customer base provides a valuable critical mass for further penetration of this vast and valuable market with other MDIS products.'

Xerox Computer Services, which had revenues of dollars 20m last year, employs 200 people. The initial payment will be dollars 10m, followed by phased payments based on revenues up to a dollars 30m cap.

Xerox software is written in the MDIS computer language, Pro-IV, compatible with any computer hardware and information databases from many different computer suppliers. MDIS also makes software and computer services for banking, the Government, police and the finance industry.