Another day, another couple of acquisitions/mergers to report…

SRM acquire InfoSec Associates
SRM – – a specialist provider of operational risk management services, has acquired InfoSec Associates, one of the UK's leading information assurance consultancy firms. As a result, SRM will be expanding its service portfolio in a number of key information assurance disciplines, including business continuity management and information security management.

APS and Billback in merger
The merger has just been announced today of APS (Advanced Professional
Solutions) and Billback Systems. Billback Systems develops and markets
a range of expense management and cost recovery solutions predominantly
to the legal profession. The combined APS/Billback software business
will turn over in excess of A$35 million.

APS has offices in Australia, New Zealand and the UK while Billback
has offices in Australia, the United States and the UK. The merger
follows the acquisition of Espreon’s Corporate Services and Billback
Systems businesses by APS parent, Reckon Limited in January 2009 for
A$18 million. Established in 1991, APS supplies software solutions to
over 70% of the Top 100 accounting firms in Australia, over 60% of the
Top 50 firms in New Zealand and 25% of the UK’s Top 100 firms. With
Billback providing cost recovery and expense management solutions to
over 60% of the Top 100 law firms in Australia, 20% of the Top 50 law
firms in the United States and 8 of the UK’s 15 largest firms, the
combined group is now well established as a major player in both the
accounting and legal markets. APS CEO Brian Armstrong commented: “We
were keen to bring the APS and Billback businesses together to ensure
that maximum advantage could be gained for the accounting and legal
sectors. With APS particularly strong in accounting, Billback’s cost
recovery and recently released expense management software provides us
with strength in the legal sector. Billback, like APS, is a very
profitable business, so we are well resourced to combine our business
models and concentrate on enhancing our service levels to both
accounting and legal clients.”

Comment: After initially making a big splash in the cost recovery market, Billback seemed to lose its way in the aftermath of the Espreon acquisition, with just about the only thing we got to hear from them was the departure of more managers and directors. Hopefully APS will get the business back on course.