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TSG halts acquisitions

Simon Vail

Acquisitive Sage partner TSG has called a temporary halt to its expansion programme but has hinted that it could bring out the cheque book again in the summer.

TSG, which is backed by Sage co-founder Graham Wylie, has bought just one company since May 2007, bringing its total acquisitions to 23 in three years.

TSG business development director Nigel Hudson said the reseller had called a temporary halt to its acquisitions. "The real challenge is in bolting the companies together, and it has given us a little bit of grey hair.

"We have been quite tough on ourselves to make sure that the machinery is working, and that any subsequent acquisitions plug in and go," he said.

Hudson said his company still had £22 million to spend and would resume the acquisitions trail later this year "if prices and timings fall into place".

Last year, Hudson told MicroScope that he hoped TSG's revenues would be between £37 million and £40 million, but the top line has dropped to between £32 million and £33 million.

The decline is in part explained by two companies' sales, said Hudson, and the fact that the group is putting more focus on gross profits, rather than revenue. Staff levels have dropped from 440 in 2007 to 385.

Accountancy software specialists are coming under attack from innovative home-grown solutions and hosted services.

Jon Ryan, managing director of NetSuite reseller BlueBridgeOne, said the hosted option appealed to business strategists, who were likely to make the purchasing decisions.

"The on-demand platform makes accounting functionality more accessible to users both internal and external to the organisation, and it also makes the account application easier to maintain,' he said.

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