Oxygen flags further acquisitions

Recent acquisition to be followed by two more before June

Oxygen chief executive Mike Smith says its recent purchase of Intaact, a small SAP specialist company in Australia, is likely to be followed by two more Australian purchases before June, one in Canberra and one in Sydney.

“We’d like to acquire in New Zealand, too,” he says.

“We began discussions with Intaact last October,” Smith says. “They’re a 12-person company, specialising in the horse racing industry. They turn over A$1-2 million. We plan to take them into New South Wales quickly.”

He says the acquisition gives Oxygen a full SAP suite capability, taking it into the SME part of the market.

“We’re now one of only three SAP partners in Australia who can offer that.”

Intaact has been rebranded Oxygen Express. It will operate its own profit and loss account for the next two years while there is an owner’s earn-out.

Smith says Oxygen in New Zealand currently has around 65 staff and the new acquisitions will bring the company’s total numbers to around 120. The company doesn’t disclose revenue but industry sources suggest it is around $50 million annually. Oxygen is owned in turn by ASX-listed IT services conglomerate UXC, but companies within the group are given the freedom to acquire, subject to board approval, Smith says.

Last week, after buying Getronics’ Australian operations, UXC’s business solutions group CEO, Cris Nicolli, told Computerworld the company was unlikely to match that buy with a similar infrastructure play in New Zealand.

The main deterrents, Nicolli said, were the presence of strong local competitors such as Gen-i and Datacom and the fact that UXC has no existing presence in the New Zealand infrastructure market. Instead, the company will focus on its strength in ERP and middleware.

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