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Capita buys Smiths Consulting.


London and Newcastle: Capita plc has bought Newcastle-based SAP specialist Smiths Consulting Ltd, its fourth acquisition in just over a month.

It has paid £10m in cash for Smiths on a cash free, debt free basis, with a further consideration of up to £2m contingent on profit performance over the next two years.

Smiths Consulting is a SAP consultancy with a strong customer presence in government, aerospace, telecommunications and finance.

Capita says the acquisition will enhance its existing in-house SAP consultancy capabilities by creating a core hub of expertise and resource.

Smiths Consulting's employees are spread across the UK and its business operations are located in Newcastle, with additional offices in London and Chelmsford. The business has 52 direct employees and is supported by 150 associates.

Smiths Consulting made a pro forma operating profit for its financial year to 31 March 2011 of £2.4m on a turnover of £11.8m.

Commenting on the deal, Paul Pindar, Capita Chief Executive, said, 'Smiths
Consulting has a loyal customer base that will benefit from Capita's scale and the scope of service offerings delivered by the wider Group. The individuals at Smiths Consulting have a breadth of experience in the delivery of SAP solutions, which is a valuable capability to bring into the business — particularly as we focus on providing flexibility and adaptability in our approach to IT transformation projects, regardless of their size.'

This week Capita also spent £21million in cash on Fish Administration Limited, a specialist insurance broking business, acquired from private equity firm Inflexion.

Fish provides specialist insurance products, on a broker basis, to people with disabilities, including cover for adapted vehicles, travel, and mobility scooters, as well as insurance products to the independent living and care sectors. It employs around 30 people based in Preston.

Earlier in the month Capita's IT services business acquired Salmat Speech Solutions' UK operations, a specialist provider of intelligent telephony automation and voice verification solutions, and in December it bought Applied Language Solutions.

Salmat Speech Solutions, headquartered in Australia, enables customer service operations to improve delivery, reduce costs, and enhance security through the use of natural language voice recognition and voice biometric technologies. Salmat's UK client portfolio includes Standard Life and Dublin Airport Authority.

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