Anite Group verkauft deutsches Space-Business


Vega acquisition aims for the stars

Vega, a consulting and technology company, is to buy the specialist space software arm of Anite and increase its presence in the space exploration sector.

Subject to shareholder approval Anite Systems will become part of Vega in a £7.5 million deal.

Both businesses are based in Darmstadt, Germany, home of the European Space Agencys European Space Operations Centre, which is Anite Systems principal customer.

Anite Systems runs mission control, ground station, mission planning and space communication systems, and has supported more than 50 space missions since 1977.

Vega (VEG) implements strategies for international businesses and government organisations, focussing on the European space, defence and UK government markets.

Vega chief executive Phil Cartmell told Citywire Anite Group did not consider the company a core business, but for Vega the acquisition is a good growth opportunity.

He said: Its a pretty profitable business were buying to add to our position.

Anite management put very little investment into this business, but we feel we can grow it.

Cartmell said no jobs would be lost because of a skills overlap, and the offices of more than 200 Vega employees and 60 Anite staff would gel easily.

Both grew up in Darmstadt, and people know each other very well, he said.

It is one of those integrations which is as clean as it can be.

The acquisition fits very strongly into one of our core market sectors, which is space.

Its very positive.

For the year ending 30 April 2004 Vegas turnover was £44.1 million, with operating profits of £2.9 million before goodwill amortisation and exceptional items.

Over the same period Anite Systems turnover was £4.9 million and operating profits were £800,000, with net assets rated at £500,000.

The £7.5 million deal will be paid by £4.7 million in cash and £2.8 million through a placing of 1.8 million new ordinary shares at 150p a share.

This represents 9.99% of the companys issued capital.

Key Vega shareholders have been approached with details of the takeover, with approval expected at an extraordinary general meeting on 25 August, and completion by 2 September.

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