The Exact Group has made its second acquisition in the large, but fragmented German accountancy software market to try to strengthen its position before the sector consolidates.
Exact, an accounting software house based in the Netherlands, made its first purchase in Germany when it bought Bavaria Soft in January 1996. Its second is Szymaniak Software, which it will operate as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary in Germany.
Szymaniak, which generated DM12 million last year and owns between two and three per cent of the German market, will keep its 52 staff and management. Its Pro-Software brand will also be retained.
Lucas Brentjens, vice president of the Exact Group, said: ?Germany is a strategic market for us and it?s our strategy to try and acquire market brands there. The number of suppliers there is still huge, but we believe only a few strong players will last and the rest will either vanish or be bought. There?s a lot of room to take three products to market. The brands will be autonomous and can be sold in competition.?
But he added that, over the next three to five years, Exact would look at areas in which the product lines could be integrated.
Meanwhile Sage, which is market leader at the low end of the UK accountancy software market, is believed to be on the verge of purchasing its German counterpart, KHK, after Exact pulled out of a bid a couple of months ago.
KHK commands between 15 and 20 per cent of the German market and generated revenues of about DM70 million last year. Paul Walker, Sage?s UK managing director, said it was company policy not to comment on rumours.
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