Martello Technologies acquires French software development firm

Ottawa-based Martello Technologies announced Monday it has acquired French software development company Netvitesse in a deal Martello CEO Bruce Linton says is good for both companies.

Netvitesse focuses on configuration management for Mitel customers and Martello specializes on finding and fixing problems for those same customers.

“So if you know how to do the two things together … you can see how a client could buy three things from one company instead of two things from one and one from another, and because it’s all from Mitel, it just made more sense that they had one party, Martello, to make all of their arrangements with,” says Mr. Linton.

Financial terms of the deal were not released, but Mr. Linton says it wasn’t a difficult negotiation process, helped by the fact both companies have a history of being funded by Terry Matthews’ Wesley Clover International.

“It was one of those ones,” says Mr. Linton, “where literally the first time we were on a common call, immediately after, it was evident we should be one organization rather than two, and everybody agreed.”

Mr. Linton said Martello’s recent $3-million funding announcement was made with this transaction in mind.

“We still had to get all the paperwork into place and you can imagine a small Canadian company buying a small French company doesn’t mean a small amount of paper,” he says.

Geography is another factor that made the acquisition attractive for Martello, says Mr. Linton.

“An increasing proportion of our business is coming from Europe and now we no longer continually need aircraft tickets in order to get to the clients and we have,” he says. “I like the geographic presence of having a group that can deal with that region quickly for us on a technical sales basis.”

Netvitesse staff will join the Martello team and Martello will honour all existing support commitments with customers of the French firm. Mr. Linton says the deal means Netvitesse will change their priorities somewhat, but not their staff.

The acquisition means no changes for Martello’s Ottawa staff, who are busy enough as it is thanks to Mitel’s recent tendency to continue acquiring companies.

“They started buying everybody and every time you buy more pieces, how they work together is always software, and we’re all software,” says Mr. Linton, adding he wouldn’t really mind if Mitel slowed down a bit as it has created a backlog of work for Martello.

That is why, Mr. Linton says, the company is moving to an office three times the size and looking to hire more people.

“We’ve picked the space, they think they can have it ready before the year’s out for us, in the same complex behind Mitel.”