Computer simulation firms announce merger

April 06, 1994|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,Sun Staff Writer

Three Columbia-based companies and a Swedish firm are joining forces to create an international computer simulation company based in Columbia.

Simulation, Systems and Services Technologies Co., known as S3, agreed Friday to merge with EuroSim AB of Sweden and two Columbia-based units of National Patent Development Corp. to form a new company to be known as Global Simulation and Engineering Systems Inc. (GSE).

The new company, which will be housed in S3's Columbia headquarters, will be headed by S3 Chief Executive William E. Kuhlmann, a former General Physics Corp. president. Mr. Kuhlmann said yesterday that the merging companies now account for annual sales of about $55 million.

"We hope to do a public financing in the fall of this year, probably at the earliest," he said. The merger would help the companies make the transition from a hardware orientation to an emphasis on software, he said.

The existing companies are active in the creation of computer simulations of power generation operations, both for nuclear and fossil fuel plants, and chemical processing. The simulations are used both for training and the development of new procedures in those industries.

The merger of the three companies is not expected to result in any significant job losses, said S3 Vice President Michael Allocco.

S3's Columbia operation will continue to employ about 275 workers, and they will be joined by an estimated 50 to 60 workers from General Physics International Simulation and Engineering Inc. and GPC Simulation Services Division. For the short term, he said, the merging companies will be operated with their current management structure intact.

General Physics International is owned by General Physics Corp. of Columbia, which is itself owned by National Patent Development Corp. of New York. GPC Simulation Services is a General Physics spinoff that is now directly owned by National Patent, which will control three of the seven board seats in GSE.

ManTech International Corp. of Fairfax, Va., which owns S3, will control another three seats, while the Swedish firm will control one.

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