Gentrack acquisitions boost airport software portfolio

NZX listed Gentrack Group (NZX: GTK), a developer of software for utilities and airports has acquired Denmark based Blip Systems A/S and agreed to acquire Maltese company CA Plus Ltd, saying the deals will expand its airport software product range and customer base worldwide.

Gentrack has acquired 79.81 percent of Blip Systems from a private equity vendor for DKK41m ($NZ8.4m) with a three year earn out on the remaining 20.19 percent held by management.

It has agreed to acquire 75 percent of CA Plus from its founder for EUR7.5m ($NZ 11.4m), subject to final closing conditions, with a three year earn out for the remaining 25 percent.

Blip Systems specialises in the development of analytic tools to “transform pedestrian and vehicular flow into value.” Its in-house designed BlipTrack system is billed as “a sensor agnostic analysis platform with live and historical information in a web-based, intuitive user interface with compelling visualisations.”

According to Gentrack, the company is a world leader in passenger flow, queue prediction and capacity forecasting software. “These solutions use video cameras and mobile phone WiFi and bluetooth sensors to track passenger movement, monitor waiting times and predict congestion points for airports and other high traffic facilities,’ it says. Blip has 26 airport customers worldwide including Schiphol, JFK T4, Geneva and Auckland.

CA Plus, according to Gentrack, is an early stage business that has developed world leading software for the management, optimisation and auditing of airport retail concession revenue. It has six airport customers, including London City, Antigua, Quito, Malta and Nairobi.

Gentrack says airports often charge retail outlets a percentage of their sales in addition to base rent, and this is an important and growing part of airports’ revenue mix.

“CA Plus enables airports to charge variable concession rates for different categories of goods to maximise their revenue, manage minimum guarantees, automate their processes and optimise commercial performance,” Gentrack says.

For airports, Gentrack offers Airport 20/20, described as “a comprehensive suite of integrated solutions that are engineered to optimise an airport’s operations including flight information display, resource management, aeronautical billing, the central airport operational database and collaborative decision making solutions, thereby streamlining airport information flows and transforming the passenger experience.” It is used by 73 airports around the world.

Gentrack says both Blip’s and CA Plus’ software products will be integrated with Airport 20/20 “to provide significant additional operational benefits and a unique product range for airport operators.”

It says the market for these products is growing steadily. “The global airport market has seen passenger growth of 5.8 percent CAGR from 2010 - 2015, which is expected to continue driven by the growth of international tourism, urbanisation and increased commercial connectivity. Airport IT spend is forecast to grow by 7.2 percent CAGR from $US25b in 2015 to $US47b in 2024.”

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