Descartes Systems Group, a logistics software company based in Waterloo, Canada, says it paid $29.7 million last week to acquire Trevose-based AirClic Inc., which automates bar-code reading and bill-paying for industrial shippers and other clients onto hand-held phones, using the cloud-based Perform platform.

"Descartes and AirClic have several common customers" who use both systems together, said Descartes CEO Edward J. Ryan in a statement. "We believe we can meet the growing demand for integrated routing and mobile fleet management solutions" and make Airclic as profitable as Descartes, he added. No immediate comment on Descartes' plans for the Airclic office and staff.

Besides Trevose, AirClic has operations in Owings Mills, Md. and Reading, England. AirClic's CEO at the time of sale was Michael B. Lee. Cofounder was Peter B. Ritz, a onetime Ikon Office Solutions executive whose later projects include cloud-software developer Xtium and the Keystone NAP data center rising at the former U.S. Steel site in Bucks County.

AirClic investors include JMI Equity, New Venture Partners and Zon Capital Partners. AirClicraised $18 million in 2010. It burned through millions more during the telecom bubble of the late 1990s/early 2000s: in June 2000 AirClic was part of a consortium including Motorola, Ericcson AB, and Symbol Technologies (controlled by Saul P. Steinberg and his Reliance Insurance Co.) that pledged $500 million to connect companies to the Internet through barcode scanners. Two years later Symbol wrote off $47 million of its Airclic investment as a loss (Symbol's financial collapse was one of many factors that contributed to Reliance's failure, the biggest up til then in U.S. property-casualty insurance history.)