Publishing Systems Vendor Miles 33 Acquires Tera

By: E&P Staff

Continuing its third year of expansion, publishing systems supplier Miles 33, Bracknell, England, has acquired Tera Digital Publishing, Milan, Italy, and its U.S. and British subsidiaries.

MediaSecure CEO Phil Lowe, a veteran of the multiply merged Geac and Atex Media Command publishing systems vendors, advised Tera in the transaction. Terms were not disclosed.

Formed in 1990, Tera today has more than 300 editorial content-management-system customers around the world. Among users of its cross-media CMS software are the International Herald Tribune, NRC Handelsblatt in The Netherlands, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, The New Straits Times, Malaysia, Impremedia Group in the U.S., Mexico City’s El Universal, and Britain’s Northcliffe and Trinity groups. It also supplies international public service broadcaster Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

In this country, Tera also supplied the Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Houston Community Newspapers, and a number of mid-sized newspapers. Its systems were sold to newspaper in the Americas by Software Consulting Services for several years in the 1990s, by the former Autologic Inc. beginning in 2001 and by its own U.S. representatives in recent years. Early last year the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin went live with Tera’s GN3 editorial system. The oldest daily courts newspaper in the United States, the Bulletin bought a complete editorial suite to create an operation enabling journalists to produce content simultaneously for the print product and Web site.

Miles 33, which has offices in Norwalk, Conn., and Sacramento, Calif., said it will integrate Tera’s software suite into its own portfolio.

Founded in 1976, Miles 33 was bought from a former British communications firm in the 1990s bought out by management in 2007 with funding from European Capital, the European affiliate of American Capital, a publicly traded private equity firm and global asset manager with $14 billion in capital resources under management.

After its MBO, the company acquired the net-linx publishing systems business (largely comprised of that German company’s own earlier acquisition of System Integrators, CText and CompuText). Also in 2008 it acquired Datamatix, developer of real estate and automative ad-creation and submission systems. Last year it acquired Scottish publishing systems developer Televisual Data Ltd. Earlier this year it swallowed up Cheltenham-based MGB Systems, supplier of canvassing, marketing, direct-delivery, subscription, reader-club, free-paper distribution, national and local leaflet booking, retailer and wholesaler publishing and digital street-mapping products.

Miles 33 now offers multimedia solutions for advertising, editorial, the Internet and digital asset management.

“At Tera we had a piece of the puzzle but not everything that the modern publisher requires. By becoming part of the Miles 33 Group we can dovetail our products with theirs and provide the complete solution,” Tera UK Managing Director David Howes said in Miles 33’s announcement.

“We have spent the last three years designing and developing a new generation of content management products,” said its owner and CEO, Michele Mottini. Those products, however, required a larger, successful organization to “reach their full potential in terms of development, support and adoption by a larger customer base,” he added. “This was my main rationale in pursuing this deal.”

Mottini and Tera Italy Managing Director Franz Rossi will stay on with Miles 33 as part of its senior management team.

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