Learmonth & Burchett Management Systems Plc’s December undertaking to put a great deal of effort into an acquisition programme (CI No 1,325) has been followed through, and the company has bought Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Meta Systems, its UK distributor, Keith London Associates Ltd, and Keith London Systems Ltd, as reported briefly (CI No 1,333). The […]
Learmonth & Burchett Management Systems Plc’s December undertaking to put a great deal of effort into an acquisition programme (CI No 1,325) has been followed through, and the company has bought Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Meta Systems, its UK distributor, Keith London Associates Ltd, and Keith London Systems Ltd, as reported briefly (CI No 1,333). The acquisitions cost UKP2.5m, with UKP1.2m cash upfront, UKP500,000 deferred for 12 months and UKP750,000 of Learmonth & Burchett shares are to be divided between the respective shareholders. Keith London Associates and Systems cost UKP1.67m and UKP133,000 respectively, and Meta Systems, UKP680,000. Learmonth & Burchett has a commitment from the new shareholders not to sell the shares for a minimum of 12 months, 18 months in some cases. Meta Systems originated within the University of Michigan as the ISDOS project. It supplied computer aided engineering tools to the US government, and developed computer-based tools to automate the life cycle of systems development. The project became a company in 1978 under the aegis of Professor Dan Tichraw, and he sold the majority of his shares to Dr Richard Welke in 1986, who continues to head the US operation. Meta Systems’ primary products are the Metasys Repository and associated development and reverse engineering tools. Rainer Burchett acknowledges that the current repository is 10 years old and consequently using antiquated technology, but a new version will be available this year. Unlike IBM’s offering, still not available, it will be a micro and portable repository, and capable of interfing with the IBM AD/Cycle repository. The company has traditionally had a strong US government base, and the use of Meta products is sometimes a condition of tender for US government contracts. Development of new tools is to be shared by Meta Systems and Learmonth & Burchett, and a new consulting division headed by Graham Stehle, a Keith London partner, has been formed to develop maintenance and reverse engineering techniques for existing systems. Keith London Associates specialises in training and consultancy, and has exclusive European distribution rights to Meta Systems products. Keith London Systems Ltd was established to market computer-aided software engineering products, specifically the Metasys Repository and reverse engineering products. Both are to trade under the Learmonth & Burchett name, but Meta Systems will retain its own identity in the immediate future. Rainer Burchett also acknowledges that a merger with Michael Jackson Systems is under review after the two companies agreed to merge methods and tools in October last year (CI No 1,289). Michael Jackson has a seat on the Learmonth board, and Roger Learmonth on Jackson’s.