Much astir at Forensic Technologies It's acquiring Anamet, allying with Docucon, merging with Teklicon

September 11, 1996|By Mark Hyman | Mark Hyman,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Kevin L. McQuaid contributed to this article.

Four months after hinting at plans for major expansion, Forensic Technologies International Corp. grew significantly yesterday, announcing on a very busy day that it has formed a strategic alliance, entered into a merger and acquired a rival company. Forensic Technologies, an Annapolis-based company specializing in high-tech support for legal cases such as the O. J. Simpson trial, said it had signed a letter of intent to acquire Anamet Laboratories, which provides consulting and testing services to law firms, mostly in Western states.

In addition, Forensic Technologies announced that it had formed an alliance with Docucon Inc. for the sale and marketing of the JFS Optical Notebook, Docucon's advanced litigation support software. In the agreement, Forensic Technologies will become the exclusive litigation consulting reseller of JFS products.

And Forensic Technologies announced its agreement to merge with Teklicon Inc., a privately held high-tech consulting firm that provides expert witness and other services, mostly in the areas of intellectual property.

Such expansion plans have been expected since May, when Forensic Technologies collected $15.3 million in fresh capital as the result of an initial public offering.

Forensic Technologies works with 845 clients, including top law firms and insurance companies, according to a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in conjunction with its IPO.

Gary Sindler, the firm's chief financial officer, said the deals announced yesterday had been in the planning stages for several months and reflected the company's aggressive plans for growth.

"Right now, we think we are the [industry] leader. Certainly, we're a major player," Sindler said. "We certainly offer a mixture of services, from graphics, jury consulting, jury analysis and trial consulting." Yesterday's announcement will add significantly to Forensic Technologies' size, increasing its annual revenues by about $8 million to $8.5 million, said Sindler. He said the company's current annual revenues are about $24 million.

Since it was founded in 1982, Forensic Technologies has been involved in a several high-profile legal cases, including those stemming from the crash of a Northwest Airlines DC-9 in Detroit; the Dupont Plaza Hotel fire in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the MGM Grand Hotel fire in Las Vegas that killed 85 people.

In connection with the Simpson trial, the company "conducted a community attitude survey and focus groups and provided jury selection and trial monitoring services" on behalf of the former football star's legal "dream team," the prospectus said.

In the Northwest Airlines case, the company developed an animated re-enactment of the crash based upon the "black box" data and vice recorder. The re-enactment allowed viewers to experience events leading up to the disaster.

In addition to its Annapolis headquarters, Forensic Technologies has offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco and in State College, Pa.

Yesterday, it announced it has opened an office in Stamford, Conn.

Pub Date: 9/11/96

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