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Gresham Computing has snapped up Canadian IT banking specialist Online Financial Services for Can$1.5 million boosting its banking and financial customer base, while adding to its growing list of global subsidiaries. The acquisition was greeted favourably by the City where Gresham's share price jumped 4p this morning. The deal for Online Financial Services includes 281,664 new ordinary shares worth 5p in Gresham to be issued immediately with an additional 281,664 shares to be issued September 99. There could be further issues towards the end of 1999 depending on performance of the Canadian subsidiary. Online results for the year end to February 98 saw a pre-tax profit of Can$181,000 on sales of Can$847,000. Gresham managing director Trevor Read said the acquisition strengthened the company's existing operations in the banking and financial sector and in the North American market as a whole. Gresham, which reported pre-tax earnings of £1.17m for the six months to April 98 on sales of £8.52m, has got a good product for a good price, financial analyst Richard Holway said. "About a year ago, Gresham really needed shaking up," he said. "The new management team head by Read came in and they've done a good job and the share price has been one of the best performers this year. The purchase of Online looks a good one. It's a good price and much of it is performance related anyway. It gives Gresham a good product in a big potential e-commerce market." Online Financial Services is Gresham's third acquisition in a year, following that of London financial house CirCa Business Systems, Paris-based back-up software firm Newlog and Texas-based enterprise storage specialist Open Microsystems. ® For more stories click here

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