General Automation Set to Buy Firm's Hotel Software Business

Times Staff Writer

Continuing its fast-paced acquisition strategy, Anaheim-based General Automation Inc. said Monday that it has tentatively agreed to buy a software business that manages a hotels and resorts from Maxial Systems Inc. of Wayne, N.J.

Terms of the deal, expected to close before Sept. 30, were not revealed.

The acquisition is the second announced by General Automation within a week. The company has also agreed to buy Aston Technology Ltd., a British software developer and computer distributor. In addition to Aston's distribution network, General Automation is buying the British company's software programs for managing law practice and automotive fleets.

In the latest deal, General Automation would buy the Maxial hotel and resort software, plus several software maintenance contracts held by Maxial. The company said Maxial President Robert S. Kramer will join General Automation to oversee its Maxial development and marketing efforts.

A relationship between General Automation and Maxial Systems has spanned several years. As a computer systems integrator, Maxial had bought General Automation's Zebra personal computers, packaging them with Maxial software and selling them to hotels and resorts.

General Automation has long served the hotel and resort industry, and the company has identified it as a key market segment that it wants to target for future growth. With the acquisition of the Maxial software, General Automation will be selling directly to the industry.

Leonard Mackenzie, General Automation chairman and chief executive, said the company's initial sales thrust would be in international markets, where Maxial is already well established and where it would not compete directly with General Automation's own group of independent distributors.

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