Thursday, 8 October 2009

System C acquires again

(By Tola Sargeant, Thursday 8th October 2009, 9:00am) System C Healthcare, the AIM-listed health and social care software and services provider, is on the acquisition trail again, having acquired Conscia Enterprise Systems, a small web solutions developer based in Glasgow, for a maximum consideration of £0.8m. This sounds like a fair price for Conscia, which reported revenues of £1.2 m and a PBT of £0.2m in the year to 30 June 2009 and had net assets at year end of £0.2m.

Although Conscia supplies both the public and private sectors with premium web applications, it has a strong track record in healthcare web portals. Its clients include NHS24, NHS National Services Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland, for whom it recently developed a new national knowledge portal called Knowledge for Care Scotland.

Conscia is a less obvious target than System C’s recent acquisitions – most notably social care application provider Liquidlogic (see System C plays its part in healthcare consolidation) – but it makes sense. Web-based portals are growing in importance in both the health and social care sectors and System C is already developing them for its clients. Conscia’s expertise should speed this process and, for a relatively small investment, help System C broaden its services offering and develop new products to take to its existing clients. In summary: another sensible, bite-sized acquisition from System C, and another sign of consolidation in the health and social care IT markets.

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