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Web Development Briefs: Allaire, Sofcom, Research centres

Web Development Briefs: Allaire, Sofcom, Research centres

Allaire goes out with loss

Development tools vendor Allaire finished its last calendar quarter of 2000 with a loss of $US7 million on revenues of $30.1 million.

Just under a fortnight a go, fellow tools vendor Macromedia announced its plans to acquire Allaire for $360 million.

Allaire's final calendar year as a sole entity ended with a net loss of $8.9 million, compared to a $5.5 million net loss in 1999. This loss was despite a 116 per cent increase in revenues which jumped to $119.3 million for the year.

Allaire shareholders should know whether the Macromedia deal will be approved by the second quarter of this year.

Sofcom cleans up again

Software Communication Group has acquired the scraps of online advertising company Real Media Australia in yet another scrapping of a former Internet success story.

Sofcom acquired the Real Media Australia name, its URLs and Web sites, has the option of employing its choice of Real Media's staff, and will pitch for Real Media's existing online advertising and e-commerce customer base.

Sofcom, chaired by former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, pulled off a bargain-price acquisition of troubled LibertyOne Web development arm Zivo late last year in similar fashion. Both were purchased at well below their recent market value through company administrators. In this case, the assets were purchased through the administrator of Real Media Australia, Peter Billingham of Grant Thornton.

Real Media Australia represented 40 Australian sites and its parent company has access to almost 2000 sites globally. Sofcom already represents the advertising for over 90 Australian sites and through acquisitions has also moved into consulting, Web design, software development and hosting.

New research centres

The Federal Government has committed $36 million in funding for the development of two new Co-operative Research Centres (CRCs) for information and communication technology development.

One CRC will be for "Smart Internet Technology", the other for "Technology Enabled Capital Markets". Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, said there are plenty of success stories from such research centres, citing the example of Australian Photonics, a CRC which coordinates 90 per cent of the nation's research and development in optical fibre and phonetic technology.

"CRCs are integral in strengthening collaborative links with industry, educational institutions, research organisations and government bodies," Alston said.


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