Columbus IT Partner, a Microsoft integrator focused on the mid-market, has agreed a deal to buy US software vendor VerticalSoft, which customizes Microsoft’s Business Solutions applications for the needs of the chemical and food industries.
Copenhagen, Denmark-based Columbus is one of the world’s largest services firms focused on the Navision and Damgaard financial and ERP software systems that became part of the Microsoft Business Solutions division through acquisition.
Columbus has reignited its M&A strategy in the last 12 months by swooping for small, profitable software VARs that tailor Microsoft software systems for specific vertical industries.
Weymouth, Massachusetts-based VerticalSoft develops products for traceability, fresh products, durability, storage, and ingredient control for food and chemicals production. The company has 30 employees and made full-year 2005 revenue of $4m.
Columbus, which is listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, will pay a minimum of $2m in shares for VerticalSoft, plus a one-year earn-out with a maximum value of $3.6m.
Columbus’ main rival is Redwood City, California-based Tectura Corp, which has made 13 acquisitions in the last four years. Tectura is privately owned, and last August received a $5m injection from one its main backers, Pequot Capital.