Sol 6 and Keystone talk further

Australian stock exchange-listed Solution 6 says it will reveal more about its discussions with Kiwi-founded Keystone Solutions within the next few weeks.

Australian stock exchange-listed Solution 6 says it will reveal more about its discussions with Kiwi-founded Keystone Solutions within the next few weeks.

The companies entered into preliminary talks in December regarding a possible merger of some of the subsidiaries of Solution 6 with Keystone, which is listed on the London stock exchange.

Solution 6 CEO Neil Gamble said last week that the relationship between the two companies would be clearer in the next two to three weeks. At the same time the Keystone board made an announcement on its website that it is “in talks which may or may not result in an offer being made for the entire issue share capital of Keystone. It is currently expected that any such offer will be made at or around the current market price of 9.25 pence.”

Solution 6 announced its half-year results earlier this month. The multiproduct company recorded a net loss of $A14.6 million for the six months to December 21, 2001, compared to a loss of $A121.6 million for the same period last year, and has put plans for a Nasdaq listing on hold. Gamble says the company is in the second phase of a turnaround, with the cost base substantially reduced and $A51 million in the bank. The company’s professional services and software division, of which legal software is a part, was the best performing division.

Last year Solution 6 bought New Zealand-based law practice management company Inform Group and Inform Lawpack for an undisclosed sum. Inform Group is now run under Solution 6’s New Zealand office along with the exo-net, which supplies accounting software.

Keystone was set up by software developers from Wang New Zealand’s legal division. It was set up in 1991 as Solutions Group when Wang shed various units due to the company’s worldwide downturn. It initially gained £4 million of investment money as a result of its 1997 “reversing” into Calidore Group, a shell company on AIM, the “junior” exchange of the London stock market. The company has clients in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and US.

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