Leiden/Sheffield, 3 November 2005 - OCLC PICA B.V. (Leiden, The Netherlands), the leading library systems and services provider in Europe, announces it has acquired the Fretwell-Downing Informatics Group (FDI - Sheffield, UK). As a result, both organisations will strengthen and extend their system development and service infrastructures. The new organisation will be able to offer the best products and services to its customers, at controlled costs and more rapidly.
In the information management solutions market there has been a recent trend of industry consolidation. "A trend in which we too are taking part," says Rein van Charldorp, managing director of OCLC PICA. "Only by enlarging the scale of our operations, can we make the resource investments needed to stay ahead in the market. Achieving economies of scale will ensure the continuity of our products for the benefit of our customers and their business processes."
FDI will continue to trade under its own name. Both OCLC PICA and FDI are committed to supporting the existing product ranges. The acquisition enables both companies to make use of each others' technology, capabilities and skill sets. It means the new organisation can bring stronger products to market more rapidly. Additionally, even better support can be offered to customers by leveraging the potential of newly acquired local knowledge and service organisations.
Moreover, customers' increasing demand for an extended product portfolio can now be better met. OCLC PICA has proved the success of this strategy with the acquisition of Sisis Informationssysteme (Germany) in July of this year, which has already resulted in a number of new customers being attracted to the combined organisation.
"Customers in the United Kingdom specifically benefit from this development," says Robin Murray, managing director of Fretwell-Downing Informatics (FDI). "With the expertise and product range that OCLC PICA brings to the FDI customers and the service infrastructure that FDI offers, we will be able to further enhance the service level that they are already accustomed to." FDI customers in the Benelux countries benefit from the additional expertise and local service infrastructure of OCLC PICA.
FDI has a long history of supplying leading-edge information management solutions to over 250 organisations worldwide. FDI operates from its offices in the UK with a US subsidiary in North America plus additional offices in Australia and Europe. FDI's experience has resulted in a suite of advanced digital library solutions including information portals, library management, resource sharing, document delivery and digital asset integration. The company's freedom by design philosophy is underpinned by a strong software development team and a commitment to interoperability and open standards. This enables FDI components to be built into a total solution or integrated alongside existing technologies. Read more about FDI at www.fdisolutions.com .
About OCLC PICA
OCLC PICA is the European library cooperative and offers an extensive range of leading edge and high-tech products and services for both library professionals and library end users. Thousands of patrons daily use the OCLC PICA systems for automatic cataloguing, retrieval, interlibrary loan and conservation. Thanks to those Library Management Systems, Professional Solutions and Library User Services, for example over 76 million books and websites can be found efficiently.
With its headquarters in Leiden, the Netherlands, a subsidiary in Oberhaching (D) and regional offices in Birmingham (UK) and Paris (F), OCLC PICA is active in the European, Southern African and Middle Eastern markets on behalf of its shareholders OCLC Inc and Stichting Pica. OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc is a non-profit organization and offers its services to 54,000 libraries in 96 countries and territories. More information about OCLC PICA can be found at www.oclcpica.org.