Acquisition of Shian for up to 2.5m

Chelford Group plc ("Chelford"), the IT supply chain software/services, SAP and RFID solutions group, is pleased to announce that it has acquired Shian Limited ("Shian") for a maximum consideration of up to 2.5 million.

Shian is an IT solutions and services business focussed on Microsoft and SAP applications. For Microsoft applications, Shian's principal markets are in the financial services and public sectors. It is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with competencies in Data Management Solutions, Information Worker Solutions and Microsoft Business Solutions. For SAP, Shian focuses on supply chain applications. Customers include Hewlett Packard, Black and Decker, Barclays Bank, Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow City Council. Earlier this month, Shian was runner-up in the Scottish Software Company of the Year Awards. Shian employs 35 staff in its Glasgow, Scotland, offices.

The acquisition of Shian complements Chelford's existing activities. The Microsoft Business Systems practice adds to the Group's existing operations, while Chelford's SAP Division will be strengthened by Shian's activities. Meanwhile, Financial Services and the Public Sector represent new vertical markets for the enlarged group. The addition of an office in Glasgow will help in servicing Chelford's existing Scottish customers and extend its coverage in that area.

In the year to 30 April 2005, Shian's turnover was 2.03 million and profit before taxation was 379,000. Net assets at 30 April 2005 were 241,000. At completion, Shian had a cash balance of approximately 315,000.

The initial consideration of 1.365 million in cash has been satisfied from Chelford's existing resources. A deferred cash consideration of 60,000 will be paid on 30 April 2006. Additional consideration of up to 1.075 million in cash will be made, subject to the performance of Shian in the financial year ending 30 April 2006. The vendors are Shian's founders, Darren and Catherine Murphy.

Chelford's Chief Executive, Trevor Lewis said: "Shian is an excellent fit with Chelford's existing activities and conforms to our strategy of acquiring complementary companies with good organic growth potential. Shian strengthens our existing SAP activities, adds a successful Microsoft solutions practice, takes us into additional vertical market sectors with opportunities for cross-selling and gives us a strong presence in Scotland."

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