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Corel has acquired Jasc software, the company responsible for the Paint Shop software range, for an undisclosed sum. The company indicated the deal was the start of a new growth strategy, saying that other acquisition deals are "on the horizon".

Corel will add the Paint Shop Pro, Paint Shop Pro Studio and Paint Shop Photo Album products to its portfolio, and says it will invest in the R&D needed to create the next generation of the Paint Shop software. Amish Mehta will stay on as CEO, and several members of the Jasc senior management team will join Corel. He commented: "The Paint Shop family gives us strong entry level graphics and imaging software products that will help Corel capture millions of new customers."

The acquisition, which will officially close at the end of this month (October) means the company now has around 60m customers. It takes Corel further into the consumer imaging space, a market for which analysts predict a very rosy future. Globally, sales of consumer digital cameras are expected to grow at an annual rate of 20 per cent, and over half (55 per cent) of those sales will be accompanied by the sale of digital imaging software, according to InfoTrends research.

Corel was taken back into private ownership in 2003, when it was bought out by San Francisco-based venture capitalists, Vector Capital Group. ®

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