Hot on the acquistition trail

Hot on the acquistition trail

Loaded up with just under $14 million worth of capital injections from St George Bank and Intel, Sausage Software has gone on a spending spree, buying up an online trading company and a Web design specialist.

This week Sausage picked up business-to-business trading company Open Trade Network (OTN) Australia, the details of which are subject to formal contract documentation and yet to be disclosed.

"It was always our plan to find a partner," said Colin Cox, managing director, OTN Australia. He claims OTN had to prove the product in the marketplace before the company could "launch into the next phase, which would be to find a partner."

Cox said OTN looked at a number of companies with the hope of finding a suitable organisation with an e-commerce focus and a global presence. "Once we started talking to Sausage it was always going to be that company."

Wayne Bos, director of Sausage Software said the selling points for acquiring OTN included future profitability, expansion of offerings and a consolidation of Sausage's e-commerce vision.

"It's about revenues and profits. I'm a pretty simple guy when it comes down to that," said Bos. "There's an excellent business structure in OTN and we see opportunities to provide more technology and bring better technology to the product to make it easier and cheaper for companies to trade Online."

OTN is a tendering company marrying buyers and sellers from over 2,000 categories online and Bos claims "the acquisition reinforces our position in the e-commerce market and represents another step in Sausage's strategy to become a leading provider of e-commerce and business solutions to major corporates and SMEs."

Through its previous acquisition of Prometheus Software, Sausage has commercial relationships with more than 800 customers in the manufacturing and distribution sectors. "This gives OTN a ready made market," said Bos.

With the first priority being to dramatically increase the number of subscribers - currently around 200, Cox said that further down the track developments in converging the OTN products with the Internet offering presented by Sausage would be on the cards. "But it's a little early to tell," he said.

Both Bos and Cox indicated future opportunities with OTN's partner IHS Australia - which until now was the exclusive reseller of the OTN branded products. Part of the international IHS Group, which provides information to industry and government, HIS Australia represents an enormous customer base for Sausage.

The announcement comes a week after the Internet focussed software company bought Web designer Creative Access.

The acquisition of Creative Access adds to Sausage's already extensive web design capabilities after the recent acquisition of web design and multi media company Electric Alchemy. As a result Bos claims Sausage is now "the leading multi-media company in Australia."

One of the first multi-media companies to use broadband technology as part of Telstra's Broadband Developers Program, Bos said the acquisition of Creative Access was complimentary to Sausage's recently formed Internet development business unit Sausage Interactive.

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