News briefs: Protel, Cards Etc, and Waivcom make headlines while Hypertec returns to jog memories

Protel, the Victorian developer of electronic design software, has agreed to buy Dutch embedded software specialist Tasking BV through a cash and stock deal valued at about $A38 million. A spokesman said the acquisition will provide Protel with software technology for embedded design, which has been a long-term strategic objective that was set out in the company's 1999 prospectus. "This will strengthen the company's position as the leading independent vendor of Windows-based desktop solutions for electronic design," the spokesman claimed.

Sydney smart-card infrastructure developer Cards Etc has completed a funding round that provided an injection of $A16 million and will allow for an expansion involving a number of new offices required to service overseas customers. "We will also continue to invest heavily in our Sydney-based research and development centre," explained Michael Walters, CEO of Cards Etc. He added that the smart card market had experienced substantial growth in the past 12 months and that opportunities had emerged in a number of markets around the world. "We are winning new business regularly and have a strong, well developed sales pipeline, which includes opportunities in western Europe, East Asia, Australia and Latin America. Importantly, the United States market continues to expand, providing a solid foundation for growth." The funding involved additional investments from existing US shareholders Citigroup, and First Data Corp.

Internet and print publisher Waivcom Worldwide has entered voluntary administration just two weeks after the resignation of director David Sutton. In February the company warned investors it would not make a profit as it had previously forecast for the half year to December 31 but would in fact lose about $A600,000.

No doubt plenty of Rust Report readers will remember Hypertec, the Australian memory company that more or less dropped out of sight when it was sold to Danish company Memory Card Technology (MCT). It has now changed hands again following the takeover of MCT by US company Dataram for $US32 million in a deal will allow Dataram to extend its presence to the Pacific Rim, as well as to Europe and Latin America. Late last year Platypus Technology, a company founded by Hypertec veterans Geoff O'Reilly and Colin Lilywhite after the sale to MCT, attracted finance from investors in the US and Asia.

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