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RM Group spends £4m to get into Europe

Lego and Wi-Fi are addressed

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Educational technology specialist RM Group has acquired DACTA, and with it a mainland European presence, for just shy of £4m.

DACTA, which recorded an operating profit of £570k on revenues of £6.5m in its last financial year, manages a pan-European network of resellers of branded educational resources. It is also the exclusive distributor for LEGO Education in the UK, and 16 other European countries.

The deal is target dependent: RM group is paying an initial cash sum of £2.28m, with a further £1.71m available if it meets various growth and performance targets, and DACTA's directors stay on board.

The firm will be managed as a separate entity within the RM Group with its own product development, sales & marketing, and distribution activities. RM Group will provide financial and operational support, it says.

Tim Pearson, CEO of RM, said: "DACTA is a great addition to RM's Education Resources business. It's a well-managed and profitable business, providing educational technology products that are widely and enthusiastically used by the educational ICT community."

Pearson also waded into the Wi-Fi safety debate, following a Panorama programme detailing concerns many parents and teachers have about using Wi-Fi networks in schools. With the caveat that RM takes health and safety issues very seriously, Pearson argues that the whole Wi-Fi debate boils down to an evaluation of risk:

"Everything has some risk - tragically, a 13-year-old boy tragically died earlier this year after reportedly swallowing a pen top. It seems certain to me that pens this year have killed more British schoolchildren than Wi-Fi...our own view has always been, and remains, that Wi-Fi is very unlikely to carry significant risk," he wrote.

You can read the rest of his statement here. ®

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