Spokane Journal of Business

MEI to buy East Coast software firm

Spokane Valley company says it has retooled itself to concentrate on Internet

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MEISolutions.com, a 15-year-old Spokane company formerly known as Micro Enhancement International Inc., says it has agreed in principle to acquire a New Hampshire software-development firm for $2.8 million in cash and stock.

Company Chairman and CEO John E. Molloy says MEISolutions.com expects to close in October on the purchase of Concord Software, a Merrimack, N.H., maker of software for the Internet. Concord, which employs about 25 people, will be absorbed into MEISolutions.com, and its Merri-mack office will become a branch of the Spokane company, Molloy says.

MEISolu-tions.com will pay Concord Softwares principals $1 million in cash and $1.8 million in MEI stock, he says. MEIs stock is not publicly traded.

MEISolu-tions.com cut its teeth making software that controls or works in conjunction with the cash-register systems at retail outlets, especially supermarkets, but in recent months has shifted its strategy somewhat to concentrate on Internet-based software that serves such retailers.

Weve converted all of our products to the Internet, Molloy says.

Concord Software, which is headed by Alex Ford, specializes in software development for web servers and other networking applications. It has been partnering with MEISolutions.com to develop exclusive technologies used in some of MEIs products, Molloy says.

Among those products are the Spokane companys Virtual Private Network and DataMart software programs, which provide high-speed, encrypted, and compressed data communications between retailers and their warehouses and chain headquarters, he says.

Were concentrating on e-commerce, not between business and consumers, but business to business, Molloy says.

The company, which has struggled financially in recent years, is on the verge of a turnaround, he asserts. Were looking forward to a very strong first quarter (next year), he says.

Molloy says the company, which currently employs about 25 people at its headquarters in a Valley business park at 9922 E. Montgomery, hopes to erect a new building for itself here as early as next year.

The Spokane company currently is pursuing a lawsuit it filed in 1997 against the Coopers & Lybrand LLP accounting firm and that firms former managing partner here, Gordon Budke. MEISolutions.com has accused Coopers of accounting malpractice, breach of contract, and negligent misrepresentation, charging that the accounting firm failed, on a timely basis, to prepare financial statements MEI needed to gain approval of a planned initial public offering, which it later dropped. Molloy declines to discuss the lawsuit, which is currently being tried in Spokane County Superior Court.

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