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INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY: Visually-impaired computer specialist Dolphin buys up Software Express firm.

A West Midland firm which develops software for visually impaired and blind computer users has acquired a Durham-based competitor for an undisclosed amount.

Established in 1986, Dolphin Computer Access employs 40 at its Worcester headquarters and 20 in the United States and Sweden.

In a move which will increase its product portfolio, the multi-million-pound turnover business acquired Software Express, which also develops software for visually-impaired people.

The firm's existing customers include Microsoft, the Inland Revenue, the BBC, the Royal Air Force and Vodafone.

The business's expansion strategy will centre on taking Software Express's flagship product, Guide, into more than 50 countries globally. Dolphin Computer Access's banking partner of 20 years, Lloyds TSB Commercial, helped to fund the transaction.

On-going working capital support is being provided by asset-based lending (ABL) specialists, Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance.

Both Dolphin and Software Express supply software to help make computers more accessible to people with visual or print impairments.

Following the deal, Software Express Limited will remain in Durham.

It will continue to employ its team of ten.

Noel Duffy, managing director of the Dolphin Computer Access Group, said: "The acquisition of Software Express broadens the Dolphin brand portfolio and offers the business the flexibility to deliver easy-to-use solutions to the fastest-growing sector of the access technology market, the over 60s."

Mark Smith, relationship director at Lloyds TSB Commercial in Worcester, said: "Software Express is a great strategic fit for Dolphin Computer Access and this deal will enable the business to target further international growth."
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Article Type:Company overview
Date:Nov 26, 2008
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