Axon looks around for acquisition targets

Auckland-based 'eServices' company Axon Computertime is eyeing up acquisitions to help it reach its goal of becoming a $100 million company by 2003.

Auckland-based "eServices" company Axon Computertime is eyeing up acquisitions to help it reach its goal of becoming a $100 million company by 2003.

The $50m company's growth is being driven by its Web-based procurement system, Quality Direct, which this year helped push up product revenue by 43%.

Axon managing director Matt Kenealy said yesterday that Axon has been looking at two other companies "who can help us reach our goals".

Although neither acquisition has been confirmed, funding has been organised for the purchases.

Axon's revenue targets will require companywide growth rates of 25% a year. Kenealy said Axon had been looking for companies with "something significant to offer us in terms of size or intellectual property".

Kenealy said that although Axon has considerable ability to raise debt to fund purchases, it was looking at options for funding, including publicly listing. "I'm not announcing plans to list - but that gives us the opportunity to be more creative."

The driver for growth would be Axon's "eFormation" business, which is "years ahead of anybody else in the market", said Keneally, taking Axon's customary swipe at the "big five" consultancies.

Kenealy said Axon was looking to expand international sales of both the "hours" and "products" parts of its business. The UK was opening up as a market for its AME desktop management environment.

"We also want to help New Zealand businesses take advantage of opportunities there are through technology. To help them be not just first in their market but first in the world."

Kenealy also announced the results of Axon's two annual supplier awards - Excellence in e-Commerce and Excellence in Customer satisfaction - both of which were won "by a mile" by IT distributor Tech Pacific.

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