NEWS IN BRIEF
Dutch company takes over US company Baan has acquired Caps Logistics, a supply chain software company. 4Front Technologies makes first Italian acquisition 4Front, the UK-based, NASDAQ-quoted mini-IT conglomerate, has moved into the Italian market with the acquisition of hardware maintenance firm Memorex Telex SpA. It is paying up to a maximum of $3.45 million for the company, of which $1.1 million cash was paid on completion. A profit target could see it paying up to $750,000 in cash or 4Front shares in July 1999. The company is also pumping $1.6 million directly into MT to "assist in the development of the business". Following the acquisition, 4Front claims it ranks in the top ten maintenance hardware company in the UK, France, Belgium and Italy. Ideal Hardware opens European warehouse Ideal Hardware has beefed up its overseas business, by setting up its first distribution facility in mainland Europe. Based in Rotterdam, the warehouse opens for business on 1 October 1998. The company says delivery times will speed up, and distribution costs will go down. Ideal sells its volume storage products to resellers anywhere in Europe. Schroder Ventures invests in NVision Venture capital firm Schroder Ventures has pumped £2.5 million into UK Internet business consultancy NVision. Start-up NVision will advise British businesses on reaping the maximum commercial benefits from the Internet. C2000 opens reseller push service Computer 2000 has set up a push broadcast service for its UK resellers. Using Active X-enabled Windows Internet Explorer 4, resellers can receive news of C2000's bin-ends special price promotions, as they happen. You can find out more details about the service from Computer 2000. Symantec/Platinum tie-up IT infrastructure management specialist Platinum Technology has entered into a strategic business alliance with utility software developer Symantec. The agreement will see Platinum add Symantec's Norton Antivirus to its data security software suite. Platinum will also become a preferred provider of consultancy and training for Symantec's Visual Cafe enterprise-oriented Java development environment. Further collaboration will occur in the future, said Symantec president Gordon Eubanks. TAM sets up shop Technical Asset Management(TAM), the UK's biggest IT remarketing and recycling company, has opened its first retail outlet, selling secondhand PCs direct to the public. Based at its headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, TAM will flog name brand refurbished desktops, notebooks and printers at up to 70 per cent cheaper than their new counterparts. The company will also retail new budget software. TAM handles more than 55,000 PCs a year, which it sources mostly from corporates. Dixons ISP service needs 250,000 subscribers Dixons Store Group needs 250,000 subscribers to make its free Internet service break even, according to analysts, quoted in the Daily Mail. Dixons has teamed up with Energis to offer free Internet access to "anyone who walks into [its] shops". The company will earn its money by taking a clip on the telephone charges and through advertising sales on its FreeServe Internet site. It will charge £1 per minute for technical help over the phone. Energis this month bought leading ISP Planet Online for up to £85 million. Psion shares fall on overhang An overhang of one million shares caused Psion's share price to fall Tuesday morning. Psion shares were 25p weaker at 10:03am, according to financial news service AFX. Psion chairman David Potter sold three million shares at 450p through Goldman Sachs on September 19. AFX quotes "City sources" who say Goldman "still has one million shares on its books and is trying to find a support level at which to sell the stock. Industry accolades for Evesham and Ideal Evesham Micros has won the PC Association annual award for excellence in computer retailing. More than 50 PC Association members were put through their paces by a mystery shopper. Ideal Hardware won the PC Association Award for supplier excellence. It emerged as clear winner, following a ballot of members, in which 50 distributors were named, PC Association executive director Keith Warburton said. Xerox sues rival Xerox is suing Mita Copystar America, inc., the US subsidiary of Japanese printer and copier vendor, Mita International, for alleged patent infringement. The company claims "a number" of Mita products contain Xerox-patented technology, and has asked the courts to forbid Mita from selling those products. MOTOROLA TO TAKE OVER KOREAN FIRM Motorola is to plunge nearly $11 million into the Korean economy, according to Asian reports. That will make it the second largest investor in Korea TRS after Korea Telecom. KT owns Korea TRS and eventually Motorola will acquire the Korean company, with TRS becoming privatised by the year 2000. LEXMARK TO START USING CASIO ENGINES Reports said that Lexmark, formerly a division of IBM, and specialising in the supply of laser printers these days, uses a Casio engine. As part of a joint deal, Casio will be allowed to sell Lexmark printers in its home market.