Scots software firm McLaren snapped up by London rival

A GLASGOW software firm that supplies technology to the energy and life science sectors was snapped up for £1 million yesterday by an Aim-listed rival.

London-based Idox - which already lists the Scottish Government and all of Scotland's local councils among its clients - paid cash for McLaren Software.

Idox chief executive Richard Kellett-Clarke said the money would be distributed among McLaren's many shareholders, including staff.

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The Scots firm had revenues of 6.4m last year, with an operating profit of 400,000 and a pre-tax loss of 1m.

Kellett-Clarke said the 1m price-tag reflected a slowdown in work this year, although he said the enterprise value of the deal was higher when McLaren's working capital was taken into account.

McLaren has about 50 staff, based mainly in Glasgow but with offices in Aberdeen and the United States.

Kellett-Clarke said there would be some overlap between McLaren's and Idox's existing office in Glasgow and so there may be some redeployment within the group.

But he added that Idox had ultimately bought McLaren to grow the company's sales and to boost Idox's range of products.

Previous contracts won by Idox north of the Border include the Scottish Government's 1.5m online planning system.

The listed company posted revenues of 32.2m last year, down from 34m, with profits dropping from 6.6m to 4.5m.