Newcastle software supplier Symetri acquired by Swedish IT giant

Gosforth-based software firm Symetri has been bought out by a Swedish firm, a move which is hoped will up its annual turnover

Colin Watson of Symetri
Colin Watson of Symetri

A North East software supplier has been bought by a Swedish IT giant in a seven-figure deal.

Gosforth-based Symetri is now part of the Addnode Group after the Stockholm-based firm acquired it from Airbus Defence and Space.

The move will give the Tyneside company access to new markets and the chance to ramp up its £8m annual turnover.

Symetri currently supplies computer aided design (CAD) software and other third-party software applications to the oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, transportation and manufacturing sectors.

But the acquisition now paves the way for the company to tap into Addnode’s extensive expertise in the architectural and construction industries. The deal, which was completed for an undisclosed sum, also gives the Swedish firm access to the UK market for the first time.

Colin Watson, director of Symetri, said: “It’s a good deal for both parties. We are a small but very specialist company and we didn’t really fit into the business plans of our previous owner.

“The Addnode Group is in exactly the same industries as we are, with the added benefit of their extensive expertise in the architectural and construction sectors. As these customers transfer to 3D modelling there’s an opportunity for us to grow in these sectors.

“There are some great architectural businesses in the North East of England.

“If we’ve got a different range of products that can benefit their business, that can only help our growth going forward.”

The buy-out means that Symetri, which has 24 staff across three UK sites, has the financial backing of an international heavyweight with access to key overseas markets. Last year Addnode generated net sales of 1,444 Swedish Krona (£128.6m) and proposed an unchanged dividend of 2.25 Swedish Krona per share after reporting a strong cash flow.

The company employs 950 staff in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Serbia, India and the US and in recent years has grown rapidly by buying a series of smaller IT companies.

Watson confirmed there would be no job losses as a result of the latest acquisition and said Addnode was committed to growing Symetri from its headquarters in the North East of England.

He said: “They want to invest in our business. We’ve had a really strong start to the year and we’ve got an order book that will see us into at least the third quarter of this year.

“The acquisition also provides continuity for our customers, with existing account managers remaining in place.”

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