Aston snaps up Australian GEM

Aston snaps up Australian GEM

Danish business consulting firm Aston IT Group has found an opening in the Asia Pacific market through its acquisition of Sydney-based integrator GEM Integrated Solutions.

James Manche, former managing director of GEM Integrated Solutions, told ARN the takeover was mutually accepted.

"We had been looking for appropriate corporate partners for around 12 months. We came into contact with Aston, there was a mutual exchange of intentions, and it was decided that the deal would be mutually beneficial," Manche said.

The takeover involved a share option swap. The four owner-partners involved in GEM Integrated Solutions agreed to swap their shares in the company for shares in the Danish group.

Having taken the new title of managing partner Aston IT Group, Manche believes that there will be little interruption to the company's operation and no changes to staffing arrangements.

"Aston has 1600 people on three different continents, working in different branches of the company," Manche said. "This kind of coverage will give our business the scope to embark on new initiatives."

He said Aston IT Group will continue to deliver tailored e-business solutions based on Great Plains' eEnterprise and to maintain many of the company's current business relationships.

"Aston holds very loose reigns. We are not receiving orders from Denmark; the structure of the group is such that we can still control much of the business locally," he said.

Manche told ARN that Aston was in the midst of an aggressive acquisition campaign that saw the company growing quickly. He believes that it is still looking for acquisitions in the Asia Pacific region, and will continue to expand the business in the run up to an IPO in roughly 12 months.

"[Aston is] planning to expand the Australian operation from 100 to 300 over the next 12 months so we are looking forward to some healthy growth," Manche said.

"GEM was basically an integrator; however, the deal with Aston means we have the scope to expand our services to include things like human resource management, consulting and strategic planning."

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