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Constellation Software rebuffed by Gladstone

publication date: May 1, 2008
author/source: Ed Tranham

AIM listed Gladstone has rejected Toronto-listed Constellation Software’s request for a seat on the board. The request follows Constellation’s acquisition in March of 28.95% of Gladstone’s equity at a 25% premium.

In North America, the acquisitive Constellation owns Harris Computer Systems, a provider of financial, customer and student information systems. Constellation has recently added California-based Schoolhouse Software to strengthen Harris Computer Systems’ product offering to school districts. Schoolhouse provides e-catering and adult education MIS solutions.

Constellation’s focus is on acquiring and building vertical markets, and Gladstone’s software solutions for the leisure and education markets would be a good fit with Harris, providing Constellation with an entry into the UK market.

In the UK education sector, Gladstone has recently completed an extensive upgrade of its OnRecord product and has achieved partner status with Capita SIMS and Serco Learning Solutions. It is also chasing BSF contracts via partnerships with Northgate, Skanska and other large contractors.

Gladstone had revenues of £9.2m last year and pre-tax profits of £1.08m. In its latest half year announcement, revenues for the half year to 29 February were up slightly at 3% to £4.4m on last year and pre-tax profits were up 11% to £776k.


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