Directors take over Cognicase in $20m buyout

The Australian management team of Montreal-based e-commerce software maker Cognicase has bought out the Australia and New Zealand operation and cut its ties with its Canadian parent.

The acquisition is valued at around $20 million, said Philip Parton, managing director of the company, which will trade as Cognicase Australia.

Equal stakeholders in the deal are Parton and fellow company directors Robin Habgood, Robert Silver and Greg Davies, all of whom are Cognicase Australia employees.

Parton said he and his partners bought the local operation to give the company "more focus" on its business model which is based on Oracle sales and consultancy. Over the last 18 months, he said, the company has focused on Java (J2EE) development and business consulting for small to medium-sized clients such as Ticketek.

Based in Sydney, Cognicase set up in Australia in 1997 and is now a 15-person e-commerce and business intelligence application developer and systems integrator, and a key Oracle distributor.

The company is currently working on a "major Java project" with mining giant Rio Tinto, but Parton said specifics of the contract were confidential.