TORONTO - International Business Machines Corp. has purchased Footprint Software Inc., a leading Canadian software company that provides applications to banks throughout the world.

Footprint specializes in applications that use object-oriented technology, which will enhance IBM's existing products for financial customers, according to IBM officials.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Robert M. Howe, general manager of IBM's banking, finance, and securities industry unit, said Footprint's software is an important addition to IBM's global banking strategy.

"The acquisition shows IBM's commitment to providing our customers with the best object-oriented solutions to help them achieve their business goals," he said.

Footprint has gained international recognition for its branch automation system, called Visual Banker, which is currently being installed in leading financial institutions around the world, officials said.

"We expect enormous synergy working with IBM," said Greg Wolfond, Footprint chairman. "Objects are here to stay, and we want to be part of the winning team."

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