Sage strikes out with Multisoft purchase

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The Independent Online
SAGE, the computer software company, is striking into new markets with the acquisition of Multisoft Financial Systems for up to pounds 6.5m, writes Diane Coyle.

Sage is a market leader in accountancy software packages sold to small businesses and households for use on personal computers. Multisoft sells more expensive software to bigger companies using mainframes or computer networks.

David Goldman, Sage chairman, said: 'It isn't our heritage. To get into that market we had to acquire.'

Multisoft is warranted to have made profits of at least pounds 500,000 in the year to 30 June, up from pounds 58,000 the previous year. Turnover rose from pounds 4.48m to pounds 5m.

Sage will pay pounds 4m in cash initially to the management shareholders and the venture capital arm of Hillsdown International. Additional payments of up to pounds 2.5m will depend on sales to 30 September 1996. The company has net assets with a book value of pounds 1.2m. Multisoft's managers will stay in place.

Multisoft has 8,000 customers, of which 45 per cent have sales of more than pounds 8m.

Sage's shares rose 5p to 535p.