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Company spotlight: Enterprise

WILL Enterprise's recent £4.2 million acquisition from Jarvis of its joint venture to supply IT services into schools be the last purchase from the maintenance firm for a while?

Next month Enterprise is due to finally move up from the junior Alternative Investment Market to the main exchange.

The move has been in the pipeline for years and one of the reasons it has been delayed is almost certainly because Enterprise has adeptly used AIM's lessregulated environment to grow via acquisition.

The firm insisted it does not need a listing on the main market but acquisitions are more costly on the main exchange and this has certainly been a factor.

Any firm claiming it does not need to go on the main exchange is rather like a Football League club insisting it does not need Premiership football.

It simply demonstrates a dearth of ambition, which Enterprise clearly does not lack.

Just as football fans are prepared to absorb the costs of watching a better class of football, Enterprise's shareholders will prefer dealing in the higher climes of the main exchange.

Coverage of Enterprise is already growing and, of six covering analysts, five are positive and just one neutral.

The shares have dipped recently but, if Enterprise is to continue growing, the move into the big league will be necessary.

This Government or a replacement from the Tories would only accelerate the outsourcing trend into more white-collar areas.

And this is just where the Jarvis deal is taking Enterprise.