May 02, 2006
@UK PLC, (AIM: ATUK.L) a leading provider of software solutions that facilitate eCommerce and eProcurement, today announces that it has agreed terms for the acquisition of Coding International Limited (“Coding”) which provides coding services for use in procurement, including the coding of products which are purchased by its public sector clients. Coding, which is based in Southampton, has 6 employees and has developed the National Supply Vocabulary (“NSV”) coding system used by a number of public sector bodies and agencies. Users include: Manchester City Council; The Inland Revenue; the London Borough of Barnet; Government Procurement Agency (N.I.); the States of Jersey and some Health Boards in the Republic of Ireland. NSV now includes codes and item descriptions for approximately 500,000 products and services.
For the year ended 30 September 2005, Coding had turnover of £148,000 and broke even. The net liabilities being acquired as part of the acquisition were £5,000 as at 30 September 2005. The consideration for the acquisition includes an initial payment of £50,000, of which £25,000 is payable in cash and £25,000 will be met by the issue of 42,015 shares at a valuation of 59.5p per share. Deferred payments of up to £25,000 per year, to be satisfied in @UK shares, will be payable, dependent on performance for the years ended 31 December 2006 and 31 December 2007.
The Board of @UK has become increasingly aware of the importance of coding to its public sector service offering and believes that the acquisition of a coding capability is a vital strategic step in the development of the business. Coding and @UK are already co-operating on a number of projects which, it is anticipated will lead to a significant increase in Coding’s revenues going forward. Consequently the Board anticipates that the acquisition will be earnings enhancing in its first full year.
Coding is owned (95%) currently by Mr Terry Ashmore and Mrs Christine Ashmore. Mr Ashmore is the Managing Director of the company and, post the acquisition, will continue to hold this position. Coding will be a wholly owned subsidiary of @UK Plc.
Lyn Duncan, Chief Executive of @UK Plc commented:
“We are very pleased that our first acquisition since coming to AIM in December 2005, is of such strategic importance. The coding of products is an essential tool in enabling our clients to demonstrate visibly the savings which are required by Government as outlined in the Gershon report. We are confident that not only will the acquisition be earnings enhancing but will also increase significantly the depth and breadth of the @UK service offering to the public sector.”