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Bernie Grinberg buys back the software farm

Thursday, 23 August 2001
By Print 21 Online Article

The business was bought by a new company, Media Command, one of whose owners is Grinberg, (President and COO Asia-Pacific) founder of the one-time Australian power house software creator, Cybergraphics. Other partners include Phil Lowe, whose original UK-based company Matrix, was also part of the division. Cybergraphics and Matrix were the key elements in GEAC’s publishing systems business located in Tampa, Florida. The new company is headed by venture-capitalist, Robert Banner of Delaware.

In a statement Media Command said it expects to build on the successful global market presence established by the constituent businesses of Cybergraphic and Matrix. It will continue to support the product lines inherited from those companies as well as continuing to develop and deploy new generation, multi- and cross-media publishing solutions.

In recent years almost all the major newspaper groups in Australia, including News Limited and Fairfax, have opted for GEAC publishing software for both editorial and advertising systems. The company also has a substantial international presence.

Early this year the McPherson Media Group, publishers of the Shepparton News and 14 other regional titles in Victoria and southern NSW, became the first fully integrated site using GEAC’s Media and Sales Command solutions.

The company’s Melbourne offices remain a software creative hub for the group with Grinberg proclaiming the Australian programmers, “as good, if not better, than any in the world.” They will continue to operate under the new regime with an emphsis on developing e-commerce solutions integrated with Adobe InDesign.

“We intend to build on our technical superiority to further increase our global market share,” said Banner in a press release. “We are already dominant in the Asia Pacific region, we dominate in the UK with our circulation systems and have more than 400 customers in the United States. We have therefore an extremely strong foundation on which to expand our global position.”

The GEAC decision to sell reflects the difficulty in generating satisfactory revenue from a newspaper industry that has, by and large, completed its migration to networked publishing and advertising systems. A statement on the GEAC web site said that it had now divested itself of all unprofitable divisions. The publishing business accounted for less than three per cent of GEAC’s revenue during fiscal year 2001.

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